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Boost good cholesterol with monounsaturated fats

Wednesday, November 03, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: cholesterol, monounsaturated fat, health news

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(NaturalNews) Consuming "good" fats will help your body produce high levels of "good" cholesterol, also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). And a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found that, when consumed as part of a healthy diet that encourages a reduction in "bad" cholesterol levels, monounsaturated fats like those found in nuts and avocados work to prevent heart disease and raise good cholesterol levels.

Dr. David Jenkins and his colleagues from the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Ontario, Canada, studied the effects of monounsaturated fats on a group of 24 patients with high cholesterol. They instructed all the patients to begin eating a vegetarian diet consisting of foods low in saturated fats. Halfway through, they told half the group to replace 13 percent of their daily carbohydrate consumption with monounsaturated fats from either sunflower oil or avocados.

At the end of the two-month study period, participants from both groups experienced a 35 percent reduction in bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. But those in the monounsaturated fat group also experienced a simultaneous 12 percent increase in good cholesterol levels (HDL), while those in the other group experienced no change at all in HDL cholesterol levels.

Jenkins noted that he hopes the study results will be an inspiration for people "who want to give diet a serious try before resorting to medication." Part of this includes cutting refined flours, refined sugars, and processed foods from their diets, and instead replacing them with things like nuts, avocados, and olive oil, which are staples of the acclaimed Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet, which is composed of healthy fats like olive oil, as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, is low in bad fats. Conventional meat and dairy products, which are high in bad fats, are not typically part of the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is also known to lower the risk of other diseases like metabolic syndrome, diabetes, obesity, and even heart disease.

To learn more about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, visit:

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