Effects of high-fat and low-fat diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acids on serum lipids, LDL size and indices of lipid peroxidation in healthy non-obese men and women when consumed under controlled conditions

Sarah Egert, Mario Kratz, Frank Kannenberg, Manfred Fobker, Ursel Wahrburg
European Journal of Nutrition 2011, 50 (1): 71-9

OBJECTIVE: To study the effects of the dietary fat content on cardiovascular disease risk factors in humans when the fatty acid composition and types of carbohydrates are kept constant.

METHODS: A controlled dietary study in healthy volunteers with 2 dietary groups and a parallel design consisting of 2 dietary periods was conducted. First, participants received a 2-week wash-in diet rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA; 47% of total fatty acids) and were then randomly assigned to either a high-fat (40% of energy) or a low-fat diet (29% of energy) for 4 weeks. Both diets were isocaloric, rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA; 51% of total fatty acids) and had similar fatty acid and carbohydrate compositions.

RESULTS: Compared to the wash-in diet, the high-fat and low-fat diets significantly lowered LDL-cholesterol (-0.34 and -0.41 mmol/l, respectively; P < 0.001 for time effect in RM-ANOVA), and HDL-cholesterol (-0.13 and -0.18 mmol/l, respectively; P < 0.001 for time), without any differences between the high-fat and low-fat diets (P = 0.112 and P = 0.085 for time × group interaction in RM-ANOVA, respectively). The size of the major LDL fraction, the LDL susceptibility to oxidation and the plasma concentrations of oxidized LDL (ox-LDL) were significantly reduced by both the high-fat and low-fat diet, again without significant differences between the diets. The ratio of ox-LDL/LDL-cholesterol, serum triacylglycerols and urinary F2-isoprostanes were not significantly affected by the diets.

CONCLUSION: A high-fat and a low-fat diet, both rich in MUFA, had similar effects on lipid-related cardiovascular disease risk factors in metabolically healthy men and women.

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