Increasing your intake of fat and still improving your cardiovascular risk may sound strange to you, since you probably have been told to eat a low fat diet to improve cardiovascular risk. However, several studies have documented that you can eat a certain type of fat and improve your cardiovascular risk.
One of the most recent studies investigated the association between monounsaturated fat HDL the so called good cholesterol, apoplipoprotein A1 another cardiovascular risk factor and C-reactive protein an inflammatory marker, also a cardiovascular risk factor (Jenkins DJ, et al. 2010).
The study participants first ate a low saturated fat diet for one month and then half of the group was assigned to a dietary protocol high in monounsaturated fat and the other half of the group assigned to a diet low in monounsaturated fat.
The participants followed these diets for one month and were then retested. The results showed that the participants eating the diet high in monounsaturated fat increased their HDL cholesterol, reduced the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL and reduced C-reactive protein which means their cardiovascular risk improved.
You find monounsaturated fat in foods like avocados, nuts and seeds. An easy way to increase this type of fat without increasing your calorie intake is to substitute avocados, nuts and seeds for some of the carbohydrates you eat.
You can easily eat an avocado a day by putting it in salads, nuts or seeds you can eat as snacks during the day.
Jenkins DJ, Chiavaroli L, Wong JM, Kendall C, Lewis GF, Vidgen E, Connelly PW, Leiter LA, Josse RG, Lamarche B. Adding monounsaturated fatty acids to a dietary portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods in hypercholesterolemia. CMAJ. 2010 Nov 8.