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Research Updates | Cardiovascular disease

Types of fat and sources of carbohydrates in relation to coronary heart disease risk

17 / 01 / 16

This study, by Li et al, is another from the Harvard Health Professional Follow up study and examined 85,000 women and 43,000 men over a period of 24-30 years.

The study found higher intake from polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) and whole grains was significantly associated with lower risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Carbohydrates from refined starches or added sugars were associated with an increased risk (p=0.04).

Replacing 5% of saturated fats (SAFA) with: PUFA; monounsaturated fats (MUFA); or wholegrains reduced risk by 25%, 15% and 9% respectively. Replacing SAFA with carbohydrates from refined starches or added sugars did not significantly increase risk (p>0.1).

These results underscore the current public health advice to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats, and to choose wholegrains.