Plant based diets protect us from the effects of bad cholesterol

Source: Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology 

Low-fat diets may elevate triglycerides and lower high-density lipoprotein, these changes are known to damage cardiovascular health in high fat diets, but it is unknown whether the same holds true in low-fat diets. The study compared low-fat, but high carb diets with three different types of high fat diets. Those high fat diets were those high in poly unsaturated fats, those high in mono unsaturated fats, and those high in saturated fats. It is believed that the ratio of these fats in the blood has an effect on and can impair the activity of NO (nitric oxide), which plays an important role in vascular dilation. The study examined inflammation markers in patients on these diets. They also used ultrasound techniques to measure the ability of the epithelial cells to expand in response to changes in flow rate of blood. The conclusions were that a low-fat high carb diet caused a fall in the beneficial high-density lipoprotein and an increase in harmful triglycerides. These people on the low-fat high carb diet did not show the same damage as those on higher fat diets, which cause the same changes in blood lipids. It is thought that plants have other protective and beneficial aspects such as antioxidants which offset these otherwise harmful changes in blood lipids.