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Sunflower Oil Lowers Cholesterol

July 14th, 2005


A new study from Pennsylvania State University showed that by modifying the American diet, and changing the fat source to sunflower oil, participants lowered LDL cholesterol levels by 6 percent. 

A study consisting of 31 men and women followed three different combinations of dietary fats consumed for 4 weeks at a time. The conclusions are reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.  One fat combination was with sunflower oil (30%) which is a balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.  Another dietary fat choice was olive oil (also 30%) which is monounsaturated fats.  The last group was the control. This typical American diet had saturated fats of the 34% of total dietary fat intake. 


The oils in this study were used in the frying, baking and cooking process, as well as used in spreads and salad dressings.  The results were that the sunflower oil group averaged a 6 percent drop in the LDL cholesterol when compared against the American diet.  The olive oil diet did not lower cholesterol levels. 

The National Sunflower Association, a non-profit commodity organization of sunflower growers, has a product called NuSun, which is a new brand of sunflower oil that is being marketed to commercial food manufacturers as a trans fats free oil.  Trans fat is manufactured by artificially hydrogenating the oil to increase shelf life of a product. 

Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, a head researcher from Penn State University, thinks that it is most likely the unique balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in NuSun sunflower oil that creates the lower cholesterol levels. The doctor said “This study demonstrates that the substitution of just a small amount of a healthy oil like NuSun for saturated or trans fat can significantly impact heart health.”

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By Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM