Harvard researchers followed over 120,000 adults for 24-30 years, tracking their diet and health records. The scientists found that replacing 5% of daily calories from saturated fat with polyunsaturated fats (found in ﬁsh, nuts, seeds, and saﬄower oil), monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil and canola oil), or whole grains is linked with a 25%, 15%, and 9% lower risk of heart disease, respectively. Additionally, they found that replacing 5% of daily calories from reﬁned grains and added sugars with whole grains or polyunsaturated fats can also signiﬁcantly reduce heart disease risk, and that replacing saturated fat with reﬁned grains or added sugars does not lower heart disease risk. The researchers concluded, “Our ﬁndings provide epidemiological evidence of the current dietary guidelines, which recommend both “replacing saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids” and “replacing reﬁned grains with whole grains.”” The Mediterranean diet, which spotlights whole grains, ﬁsh, olive oil, nuts, and seeds, is the perfect eating plan to put these lessons into practice.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2015 Oct;66(14):1538-48. (Li Y et al.)