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Cut Fat by Choosing Canola

Posted Apr 18 2013 10:09pm

Characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and adverse glucose and insulin metabolism, Metabolic Syndrome is a condition associated with increased risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Penny Kris-Etherton, from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania, USA), and colleagues enrolled 121 participants at risk for metabolic syndrome in study where subjects consumed a daily smoothie containing 40 grams (1.42 ounces) of one of five oils as part of a weight maintenance, heart-healthy, 2000-calorie per day diet. Members of the group had five risk factors characterized by increased belly fat, low HDL cholesterol and above average blood sugar, blood pressure and triglycerides that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The researchers repeated this process for the remaining four oils.   Subjects who consumed canola or high-oleic canola oils on a daily basis for four weeks lowered their belly fat by 1.6%, compared to those who consumed a flax/safflower oil blend. Abdominal fat was unchanged by the other two oils, which included a corn/safflower oil blend and high-oleic canola oil enriched with an algal source of the omega-3 DHA. Both the flax/safflower and corn/safflower oil blends were low in monounsaturated fat.  The lead investigator commented that: “The monounsaturated fats in [canola] oils appear to reduce abdominal fat, which in turn may decrease metabolic syndrome risk factors.”

Kris-Etherton P.  Presentation at American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013, 29 March 2013.

  
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Tip #150 - Go Nuts
A number of studies have established a body of evidence linking nut consumption to potential beneficial effects for heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's Disease, and cancer:

Heart Disease: Researchers from Loma Linda University (California, USA) studied results of 25 nut consumption trials involving 583 men and women with normal and high cholesterol levels. Results showed that daily consumption of a small bag (67g) of nuts reduced total cholesterol by 5.1% and LDL cholesterol by 7.4%. Eating nuts was also found to reduce triglyceride levels by 10.2% in participants with blood triglyceride levels of at least 150 mg/dL, but not in those with lower levels. The benefits of nut consumption were greatest in those with high baseline LDL cholesterol levels and a low body mass index (BMI).

A team from Pennsylvania State University (Pennsylvania, USA) followed a group of 25 men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol levels, for a five-week period. One subgroup consumed an “average” American diet [33% total fat, including 11% monunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and 5% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)] and the other subgroup ate a Macadamia nut-rich diet [33% total fat, including 18% MUFA and 5% PUFA]. In the group consuming the macadamia nut-rich diet, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol decreased (4.60, versus 4.90 in the group following the American diet). In addition, the macadamia nut-diet group experienced a decrease in LDL (low-density, or “bad”) cholesterol (3.14 mmol/L, versus 3.44 mmol/L in the group following the American diet).

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