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Fats in margarine good for your heart - research

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Fats in margarine good for your heart - research

Do you know your MUFAs from your PUFAs? Are you eating too much saturated fat? And are you eating the right balance of omega fatty acids? It’s all a bit confusing isn’t it?

With many people unsure who to listen to for nutrition advice these days, the age-old question of "which is better for you - butter or margarine?" is still doing the rounds.

New research, which looked at the health effects of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated omega-6 fat found in vegetable oils, in over 300,000 people, re-confirms what health professionals and scientists have known for decades.

The study, published in Circulation, confirmed that higher amounts of dietary linoleic acid is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events and deaths.

People who replaced just 5% of their energy from saturated fats with linoleic acid had 9% fewer heart disease ‘events’ and a 15% lower risk of dying from heart disease. Results were similar when 5% energy from carbohydrate was replaced with linoleic acid.

Carried out by the renowned Harvard School of Public Health, it’s the most up-to-date epidemiological analysis of the role of linoleic acid in heart health. It combined data from 13 cohort studies and a total of 310,602 people.

Flora dietitian Louise Bell explains:

"Linoleic acid is one of those fats that the body needs but cannot make so everyone must rely on their diet to get what they need. Some of the best sources are sunflower, canola or soy bean oils. These are also the base ingredients for polyunsaturated spreads like Flora margarine.

"A diet that is rich in polyunsaturated fats like those found in nuts, seeds, fish, oils and vegetable oil based spreads and low in saturated fats which is found mostly in dairy, meats and coconut oil is best for heart health.

"Flora is made from the natural goodness of sunflowers and provides omega-6 polyunsaturated fat and vitamin E. It’s an easy way to include polyunsaturated fat in your daily diet."

It’s pleasing to see the outcome from this latest study and that it supports current global dietary recommendations to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats for heart health."

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