chapter  13
6 Pages

- Canola Oil and Heart Health: A Historical Perspective

An association between dietary fat and cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been widely accepted for half a century. Much of the research over the rst half of this period concentrated on type of fat, in particular the adverse effect of amount of fat, especially the amount of saturated fat. The rationale for this position came from the famous Seven Countries Study by Ancel Keys and associates (Keys et  al., 1965). The one region in their study that did not t their conclusion was the Mediterranean. People on the Island of Crete had a high-fat intake, an intake equivalent to that of populations living in North America and Northern Europe, but they had a signi- cantly lower incidence of CVD. The diet of the inhabitants of this region was characterized by a relatively high intake of olive oil. However, the dogma of the day held that saturated fatty acids (SFA) increased the risk of CVD, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) decreased the risk, and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), such as oleic acid (OA) in olive oil, had no effect on CVD risk; MUFA neither increased nor decreased blood cholesterol level. Elevated serum cholesterol level was believed the primary cause of CVD; a view still prominent in clinical practice. The concept has been rened over the past 30 years, from an emphasis on serum total cholesterol (TC) to an emphasis on the level of serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol

13.1 Introduction ..................................................................................................245 13.2 Canola Oil and CVD ....................................................................................246