Replacing saturated fatty acids (SFA) with polyunsaturated
(PUFA) & monounsaturated (MUFA) fatty acids is recommended
to reduce CHD. Good sources of healthy fats—eg
olive oil, walnuts, salmon, tuna —also contain small amounts
of saturated fat.
A recent controversial paper suggests “there is no evidence
supporting the longstanding recommendation to limit saturated
fat consumption”. The data implies that as population
obesity rates continue to soar despite increased saturated fat
-reduced product sales; saturated fat consumption therefore
can’t be the culprit. Many fat-reduced products have added
refined sugar, refined grains and salt – unsuitable substitutes.
The latest promotion that coconut oil (92% saturated fat) is
the ‘ideal’ substitute fat, is based on studies on South Sea
Islanders who reported a high intake of coconut and low
levels of heart disease. This paper failed to mention that the
participants’ diet consisted mainly of fish, sweet potato, bananas
and coconut. Adding coconut oil to a typical Western
diet affords no benefit; even though it increases HDL, it also
increases LDL. Although less “harmful” it doesn’t make it
Current Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend limiting
saturated fats to <7% of daily calorie intake, replacing SFAs
initially with PUFAs and MUFAs, and then wholegrain carbohydrates,
in an effort to reduce CV risk by lowering LDL &
Omega-3 essential polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption
from marine-derived (DHA docosahexaenoic acid + EPA
eicosapentaenoic acid) and plant-derived (ALA – α-linolenic
acid) sources has significant anti-inflammatory & cardioprotective
effects in patients with pre-existing CVD as well as
healthy individuals. In contrast to Omega-3, Omega-6 (LA –
linoleic acid) is not generally deficient in our typical Western
diet with its main dietary sources including eggs, poultry,
wholegrain bread, mayonnaise & vegetable oils.
Omega-3 daily dietary recommendations – DHA + EPA – 500mg – 1000mg (1000mg for those with CHD) – eg 150g fresh red salmon/canned sardines/canned red salmon will provide ∞ 2000mg (DHA + EPA)
If using Fish Oil supplements – read nutrition labels to determine DHA & EPA levels.
ALA—2000mg – eg chia seeds 5000mg/1.5 tablespoons, flaxseeds 1600mg/tablespoon, walnuts 2600mg/1.5 tablespoons.
Omega-3 daily dietary recommendations – DHA + EPA – 500mg – 1000mg (1000mg for those with CHD) – eg 150g fresh red salmon/canned sardines/canned red salmon will provide ∞ 2000mg (DHA + EPA) If using Fish Oil supplements – read nutrition labels to determine DHA & EPA levels. ALA—2000mg – eg chia seeds 5000mg/1.5 tablespoons, flaxseeds 1600mg/tablespoon, walnuts 2600mg/1.5 tablespoons.
Eat 2 – 3 servings of oily fish with skin weekly
Eat at least 2 portions/pieces of fresh fruit including berries daily (1 portion = ½ cup cut up fruit) Eat at least 5 portions of fresh colourful, green leafy vegetables/legumes daily Eat a handful of raw unsalted nuts/seeds Choose low-fat dairy products/lean meats/ skinless poultry Increase soluble fibre intake – helps eliminate dietary fat Choose polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fats, in cooking and at the table – olive, canola, sunflower, & peanut oil. Choose plant sterol-containing margarines Reduce saturated fat intake to <7% of total energy intake (5g) daily Reduce trans-fats intake to <1% of total energy intake Reduce salt intake (1500mg daily) Reduce/eliminate high sugar food and drink intake (5 grams per 100G acceptable) Reduce alcohol intake to 10 – 20 grams daily (red wine preferable) Drink tea, freshly ground coffee Enjoy 70% or higher cocoa/dark chocolate