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J Nutr Biochem. 1999 Oct;10(10):598-608.

Effects of a prudent diet containing either lean beef and mutton or fish and skinless chicken on the plasma lipoproteins and fatty acid composition of triacylglycerol and cholesteryl ester of hypercholesterolemic subjects.

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  • 1National Research Programme for Nutritional Intervention Medical Research Council, Tygerberg, South Africa.


In this two-phase crossover study, 39 hypercholesterolemic subjects followed a prudent diet with either lean red meat or fish and skinless chicken (treatment groups), and 13 subjects (reference group) followed their habitual diet. Fasting blood samples were analyzed for plasma total cholesterol, triacylglycerol (TAG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein one- and two-cholesterol, apolipoprotein-B, very low density lipoprotein cholesterol, and very low density lipoprotein TAG, and fatty acid composition of plasma TAG and cholesteryl ester (CE). Body mass and blood pressure were determined. Seven-day dietary records were kept once at baseline and twice during the treatment periods. Significant differences were observed in dietary intake between the baseline and treatment diets and between the two treatment diets. HDL-C (P < 0.05) and diastolic blood pressure (P < 0.01) were higher in patients on the red meat diet than in those on the chicken-fish diet. No other significant differences in lipoproteins were observed between the effects of the two treatment diets. The linoleic acid (%), eicosapentaenoic acid (%), and the eicosapentaenoic acid/arachidonic acid ratios in TAG and CE were higher (P < 0.01) in subjects on the chicken-fish diet than in those on the red meat diet. In conclusion, this study showed that the effect of two lipid-lowering diets containing either lean red meat or skinless chicken and fish on the atherogenic lipoproteins did not differ significantly. A prudent diet with skinless chicken and fish, however, had a more favorable effect on the fatty acid composition of the plasma TAG and the CE than did the lean red meat diet.

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