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Healthy fats may lower cholesterol

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Individuals who have received poor cholesterol test results may want to consider adding more monounsaturated fats to their diet. A recent study from Canadian researchers has found that the so-called "Mediterranean diet" may significantly improve cholesterol scores.

A team of researchers from St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto found that adding monounsaturated fats, or MUFAs, to a cholesterol-lowering diet can bring down LDL levels by 35 percent while increasing HDL by 12.5 percent.

MUFAs are commonly found in eggplant, soy, nuts and other foods commonly associated with the Mediterranean diet. Previous research showed that these foods can significantly improve heart health.

Researchers assigned 24 participants who had recently completed a cholesterol-lowering diet to either increase or decrease their intake of MUFAs. They found that individuals who consumed the most had the healthiest cholesterol tests at the end of the two-month study.

"The addition of MUFA increased HDL-C and therefore may further enhance the cardioprotective effect of the cholesterol-lowering dietary portfolio without diminishing its cholesterol-lowering effect," the study's authors wrote.

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