Thursday, January 01, 2009

Butter Worse For Arteries Than Olive Oil

Meals high in saturated fat (SAFA), as opposed to monounsaturated fat (MUFA), may impair artery function. That was the finding of a small study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care:

Differential Effects Of Two Different Isoenergetic Meals One Rich In Saturated And One Rich In Monounsaturated Fat On Endothelial Function In Subjects With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, Diabetes Care, December 2008

After 33 participants with type 2 diabetes consumed either a meal high in saturated fat (butter), or high in monounsaturated fat (olive oil), (meals had the same number of calories) their artery function was assessed.

Flow-mediated dilation (FMD):
  • Declined by 16.7% after the saturated-fat-rich meal
  • Increased by 5.2% after the monounsaturated-fat-rich meal
FMD measures the relaxation of an artery due to increased blood flow. FMD is a marker for heart disease risk. As FMD decreases, blood flow is impaired.

The authors concluded:
"Consumption of an SAFA-rich meal is harmful for the endothelium, while a MUFA-rich meal does not impair endothelial function in subjects with type 2 diabetes."