Health Canada approves cholesterol-lowering claim for mono and polyunsaturated fats

By Caroline Scott-Thomas

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Health canada, Nutrition

Health Canada approves cholesterol-lowering claim for mono and polyunsaturated fats
Health Canada has approved a new health claim advising consumers that replacing saturated fats with mono- and polyunsaturated fats can reduce cholesterol.

High levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol) are considered a risk factor for heart disease. In research submitted to Health Canada in support of the new claim, replacement of saturated fat with unsaturated fats reduced LDL cholesterol by 0.4% to 2.8% for every gram of fat that was replaced.

“This reduction is significant because the literature shows that a 1% drop in cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease by approximately 2%,”​ said Dr. David Ma, a professor in the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, and chief scientific advisor for the health claim application.

“Furthermore, the effects of the substitution of dietary unsaturated fatty acids for saturated fatty acids appear to be both achievable in a timely manner and sustainable. In studies reviewed, benefits to individuals appear after just two and a half weeks of dietary intervention.”

The Vegetable Oil Industry of Canada (VOIC) has said it will use the claim on packaging to communicate with consumers, alongside a new logo (pictured) developed by the trade group.

Ma said that Health Canada has previously recommended that Canadians reduce their saturated fat intake, but had not given guidance on alternatives.

“It is certainly not a radical health claim in any regard, but it fills an important void,”​ Ma said. “It provides an educational message regarding what to consume as opposed to what not to consume.”

The claim was first proposed three years ago, and is the ninth claim to be approved by Health Canada, since its health claims process was formalized in 2003.

VOIC is a non-profit industry group that represents 70,000 Canadian oilseed growers, seed developers, oilseed processors, and fats and oils suppliers.

VOIC president Sean McPhee said in a statement: “We are pleased that Health Canada supports the vegetable oil industry in providing consumers with this important positive direction on what dietary fats they should be eating to reduce cholesterol levels.”

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2 comments

Bad But

Posted by Phil Roberts,

There is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. The replacement of saturated fats by unsaturated fats reduces the bad HDL cholesterol and increases the good LDL cholesterol.

The public are being continually confused by the messages we give and as a result people are dying becasue they do not change their eating habits and continue to eat saturated fats.

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But

Posted by John,

yet Dr. Krausse has shown in his meta analysis of saturated fat studies that saturated fat is not associated with heart disease.

I wish my government would learn to differentiate good science from bad science. Science shows cholesterol is uber-necessary and science does not show cholesterol is a risk factor, hypercholesterolemia situations exluded.

Your leading people down the road of doom yet again. Shame on you. Now plow all those grain fields and get the grass-fed animals back!

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