Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to discuss macronutrient replacement options for saturated fatty acids (SFAs) to optimize cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk reduction.
Recent findings: Dietary recommendations advise decreasing SFAs. There is convincing evidence that replacing SFAs with unsaturated fat, both omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, reduces CVD risk. Monounsaturated fatty acid substitution for SFAs also decreases CVD risk. Replacing SFAs with refined carbohydrate does little to alter CVD risk, whereas whole-grain CHO or lean protein substitutions beneficially affect CVD risk.
Summary: Modifying the macronutrient composition of the diet by replacing SFAs with unsaturated fatty acids, as well as lean protein and carbohydrate from whole grains, all lower CVD risk. Research is needed to identify food sources of macronutrients that optimize CVD risk reduction.