Comparison of monounsaturated fatty acids and carbohydrates for reducing raised levels of plasma cholesterol in man

Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Jun;47(6):965-9. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/47.6.965.


To compare monounsaturated fatty acids and carbohydrates for actions on lipid and lipoprotein levels from solid-food diets, 10 men were studied on three diets. One diet was high in saturated fatty acids and very high in cholesterol (High Sat + Chol), a second was high in monounsaturates but low in cholesterol (High Mono), and a third was low in fat, high in carbohydrates, and low in cholesterol (Low Fat). All diets were consumed for 6 wk. Compared with the High Sat + Chol diet, the High Mono and Low Fat diets significantly and similarly reduced plasma cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. In contrast, the Low Fat diet significantly lowered HDL cholesterol whereas the High Mono diet did not. Therefore, a solid-food diet rich in monounsaturated fatty acids is equivalent to a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet for cholesterol lowering but does not reduce the HDL-cholesterol level.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cholesterol / blood*
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / pharmacology
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats / pharmacology
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Fats
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Monounsaturated
  • Cholesterol