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Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1503-10.

Snack chips fried in corn oil alleviate cardiovascular disease risk factors when substituted for low-fat or high-fat snacks.

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Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA.



The perception that all high-fat snacks are unhealthy may be wrong.


We aimed to assess whether replacing low-fat and high-fat snacks with snacks rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and low in saturated and trans fatty acids would improve cardiovascular health.


Thirty-three adults participated in a randomized crossover trial of 3 controlled feeding phases of 25 d each in which a different type of snack was provided: low-fat (30.8% of energy from fat, 5.2% of energy from PUFAs), high-PUFA (36.3% of energy from fat, 9.7% of energy from PUFAs), or high-fat (37.9% of energy from fat, 5.8% of energy from PUFAs) snack.


Each diet reduced LDL- and total cholesterol concentrations, but reductions were greater with the low-fat and the high-PUFA diets than with the high-fat diet: LDL cholesterol (11.8% and 12.5% compared with 8.8%, respectively; P = 0.03 and 0.01), total cholesterol (10.5% and 10.7% compared with 7.9%, respectively; P = 0.03 and 0.02). The high-PUFA diet tended to reduce triacylglycerol concentrations (9.4%; P = 0.06), and this change was greater than that with the low-fat (P = 0.028) and high-fat (P = 0.0008) diets.


These data show that snack type affects cardiovascular health. Consuming snack chips rich in PUFA and low in saturated or trans fatty acids instead of high-saturated fatty acid and trans fatty acid or low-fat snacks leads to improvements in lipid profiles concordant with reductions in cardiovascular disease risk.

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