Seed oils are better for cholesterol than olive oil
ISLAMABAD: An analysis of data from dozens of studies reveals that replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat reduces low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. In addition, of the unsaturated fats, seed oils such as sunflower have the strongest effect.
Dr. Lukas Schwingshackl from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke led the new study.
This study was the first to carry out an analysis that allows the impact of several oils and solid fats on blood lipids to be assessed in a single model.
Many have compared the effect of replacing a food rich in saturated fat, such as butter or lard, with one rich in unsaturated fat, such as plant-based olive oil and sunflower. However, the evidence makes it difficult to find out which of the many plant-derived oils have the greatest benefit.
To this end, Dr. Schwingshackl and team used a statistical technique called network meta-analysis, which is gaining ground in health research as a way to glean evidence from enormous amounts of data through the use of "direct and indirect comparisons."
Investigators use network meta-analysis to find answers that could otherwise only be addressed in "giant studies" that compare the effect of many different interventions on a single result. "The beauty of this method," Dr. Schwingshackl explains, "is that you can compare a lot of different interventions simultaneously. The end result, he adds, is that "you can say" which of the oils is best for the "specific outcome."
The method, for instance, allows a comparison of butter with sunflower oil to be inferred indirectly by analyzing the results of two trials: one that tested butter against olive oil directly, and another that tested sunflower against olive oil directly.
The new findings feature in a paper that is now published in the Journal of Lipid Research.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), heart disease and stroke are the biggest killers worldwide and have been so for 15 years.