Isoenergetic replacement of dietary saturated with monounsaturated fat via macadamia nuts enhances endothelial function in overweight subjects
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Background & aims - Excess adiposity (overweight) is one of numerous risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Most risk reduction strategies for overweight rely on weight loss through dietary energy restriction. However, since the evidence base for long-term successful weight loss interventions is scant, it is important to identify strategies for risk reduction independent of weight loss. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of isoenergetic substitution of dietary saturated fat (SFA) with monounsaturated fat (MUFA) via macadamia nuts on coronary risk compared to usual diet in overweight adults. Methods - A randomised controlled trial design, maintaining usual energy intake, but manipulating dietary lipid profile in a group of 64 (54 female, 10 male) overweight (BMI > 25), otherwise healthy, subjects. For the intervention group, energy intakes of usual (baseline) diets were calculated from multiple 3 day diet diaries, and SFA was replaced with MUFA (target: 50%E from fat as MUFA) by altering dietary SFA sources and adding macadamia nuts to the diet. Both control and intervention groups received advice on national guidelines for physical activity and adhered to the same protocol for diet diary record keeping and trial consultations. Anthropometric and clinical measures were taken at baseline and at 10 weeks. Results A significant increase in brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (p < 0.05) was seen in the monounsaturated diet group at week 10 compared to baseline. This corresponded to significant decreases in waist circumference, total cholesterol (p < 0.05), plasma leptin and ICAM-1 (p < 0.01). Conclusions - In patient subgroups where adherence to dietary energy-reduction is poor, isoenergetic interventions may improve endothelial function and other coronary risk factors without changes in body weight. This trial was registered with the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ACTRN12607000106437).
Dietetics and Nutrigenomics