Health Claim: Lower Blood Cholesterol by Replacing Saturated Fats with Mono- and Polyunsaturated fats

Comparison of Dietary Fats

Health Canada posted a new blood cholesterol lowering health claim related to the replacement of saturated fat with mono- and polyunsaturated fat. High cholesterol is a risk factor for heart disease. According to Statistics Canada 44 per cent of Canadians have high cholesterol.

Spot the difference between the types of fat
A good rule of thumb for recognizing saturated fat and unsaturated fat (mono- and polyunsaturates) is to consider their appearance at room temperature. Fat which consist mostly of saturated fat tends to be hard at room temperature such as shortening or butter. Fat containing mostly mono-and polyunsaturated fat tends to be liquid at room temperature, like vegetable oils.  The attached chart titled ‘Comparison of Dietary Fats’ is a great visual that shows the proportion of saturated, mono-and polyunsaturated fat in various naturally occurring fats and oils.
The replacement of saturated fat is the latest in a series of blood cholesterol lowering claims by regulators offering consumers advice on healthy alternatives. Oat and psyllium products and blood cholesterol lowering claims were released in November 2010 and December 2011 respectively.
Watch for innovative food products that leverage the cholesterol lowering health claims on package labels and in advertising.