Previous studies have shown that dietary fat intake plays a critical role in the development of Metabolic Syndrome , a group of health risk factors that are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Factors include enlarged waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low HDL (good) cholesterol, and high fasting glucose levels. Jose Lopez-Miranda, from the University of Cordoba (Spain), and colleagues studied the effects of four different diet combinations on blood lipid metabolism, in 117 men and women with metabolic syndrome. The team found that a low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate diet exerted numerous detrimental effects, including significantly increasing total triglyceride levels, and triglyceride rich lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Importantly, the researchers showed that the same diet, supplemented with omega-3 s, had no effect on blood lipid levels. As well, they observed that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats, or a low-fat diet rich in complex carbohydrates and omega-3 fatty acids, resulted in lower circulating blood lipid levels, as compared to a diet rich in high saturated fats or a diet low in fats and high in complex carbohydrates. The team concludes that: “Postprandial abnormalities associated with [Metabolic Syndrome] can be attenuated with [low-fat, high-complex carbohydrate omega-3 and [high monounsaturated fat] diets.
Study: Journal of Nutrition