This health e-letter article concerns fats — the good kind and the bad kind. North Americans, on average, get a lot of their fats from dairy products and, while this is not necessarily a bad thing in moderation, you may want to add other fats to your diet to boost heart health.
According to Danish researchers from the Department of Nephrology at the University of Odense, replacing dairy fat with canola oil could help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad, cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol, of course, is that stuff that circulates in your blood. It can slowly build up in your arteries if you are consuming too much of the bad type of fat in your diet. Eventually, these fatty deposits harden and a clot may form, blocking the flow of blood in your arteries.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol could actually help remedy this situation. It carries cholesterol from your arteries to your liver where it is removed from your body.
This is exactly the type of situation the Swedish researchers found when they conducted a trial comparing cholesterol levels after the consumption of dairy fat versus canola oil fat. The study was a three-week randomized, controlled, crossover trial involving 20 participants with high levels of lipids in their blood.
The researchers performed tests to measure lipoprotein profile, coagulation, and the ability to break down and remove small blood clots. The researchers found that the canola oil diet — but not the dairy fat diet — reduced levels of serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.
The canola oil diet also increased the rate at which glucose was utilized. The research team concluded that, in a diet moderately high in total fat, replacing dairy fat with canola causes a rapid and clinically relevant improvement in serum lipoprotein profiles, including lowering of triglycerides in hyperlipidaemic individuals.
Follow This Health Advice
- Boost your nutritional health by using canola oil where you might normally use butter.
- Try putting a little canola oil on toast in the morning or use it when cooking main dishes.
Canola oil generally retains its nutritional value when exposed to moderately high cooking heat, so it’s great for healthy cooking.