While diet changes are often suggested as part of a cholesterol lowering drug regimen, few studies have demonstrated to what extent dietary changes alone actually help, especially in older people. A recent Australian study of more than 900 participants tracked the results of key diet modifications at 5- and 10-year followups. Researchers found that cutting down on saturated fats including butter brought aboutmoderate decreases in total serum cholesterol, even in those not yet on statin drug intervention. What’s more, increased consumption of omega-3 fattyacids (the good-for-you fats) found in fatty fish like salmon was independently related to modest increasesin the good HDL cholesterol and decreases in triglycerides. Putting both practices in effect—in essence replacing saturated animal fats in the diet with unsaturated fats—had the best result of all.
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