For a healthy heart, you may replace your food choices from meat, full-fat dairy products and coconut oil to healthier fat like olive, safflower oils, as according to a study, it can help in reduction of cholesterol levels and heart disease risk as much as statins.
The results suggested that randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduced cardiovascular disease by approximately 30 percent, similar to that achieved by cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins.
Lead study author Frank Sacks from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston said, "We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels."
"Saturated fat increases LDL - bad cholesterol - which is a major cause of artery-clogging plaque and cardiovascular disease," Sacks added.
Saturated fats are found in meat, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut, palm and others.
Other types of fats include poly-unsaturated fats, found in corn, soybean, peanut and other oils, and mono-unsaturated fats, found in olive, canola, safflower, avocado and other oils.
Several studies found that coconut oil - which is predominantly saturated fat and widely touted as healthy - raised LDL cholesterol in the same way as other saturated fats found in butter, beef fat and palm oil.
Replacement of saturated fat with mostly refined carbohydrate and sugars is not associated with lower rates of CVD.
"Saturated fats can increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and other blood vessel diseases. It should also focus on healthy foods rich in nutrients that can help reduce disease risk, like poly- and mono-unsaturated vegetable oils, nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and others," Sacks said.
The study is published in the journal of Circulation.