The associations between dietary saturated fats and CHD remain controversial, but few studies have compared saturated with unsaturated fats and sources of carbohydrates in relation to CHD risk.

The study by researchers from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Wellness Institute - Cleveland Clinic, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, sought to investigate associations of saturated fats compared with unsaturated fats and different sources of carbohydrates in relation to CHD risk.

"We followed 84,628 women (Nurses' Health Study, 1980 to 2010), and 42,908 men (Health Professional Follow-up Study, 1986 to 2010) who were free of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline”, researchers said.

"Diet was assessed by a semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire every 4 years”, they wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

During 24 to 30 years of follow-up, researchers documented 7,667 incident cases of CHD.

Higher intakes of PUFAs and carbohydrates from whole grains were significantly associated with a lower risk of CHD comparing the highest with lowest quintile for PUFAs, researchers said.

Replacing 5 percent of energy intake from saturated fats with equivalent energy intake from PUFAs, monounsaturated fatty acids, or carbohydrates from whole grains was associated with a 25 percent, 15 percent, and 9 percent lower risk of CHD, respectively, they said.

Replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates from refined starches/added sugars was not significantly associated with CHD risk.


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