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Most Americans Don't Know 'Better Fats' Benefit Heart Health
Date:7/24/2008

American Heart Association expands national fats awareness campaign with 'Better Fats Sisters'

DALLAS, July 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fewer than half of Americans know that the "better" fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) can help reduce their risk of heart disease, according to a recent survey(1) by the American Heart Association.

"Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of Americans. Consumers have heard a lot about the 'bad' fats lately and what not to eat. That's why it's important for people to know the 'better' fats and foods and where they're found so they can lower their risk for heart disease," said Robert H. Eckel, M.D., past president of the American Heart Association, chair of its trans fat task force and professor of medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver.

Facing the Fats with the Better Fats Sisters: Your Heart Helpers

The American Heart Association is introducing two new characters, the Better Fats Sisters -- Mon and Poly -- to help consumers learn more about the benefits of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and the foods where they are found. The Web site (http://www.AmericanHeart.org/FaceTheFats) features the Better Fats Sisters alongside their Bad Fats Brothers, Sat and Trans. The Sisters help consumers find comprehensive information about fats so that they can eat healthier in restaurants and use the better fats when preparing meals at home.

The Better Fats Sisters remind everyone that all fats have the same number of calories: 9 per gram, compared to the 4 calories per gram found in proteins and carbohydrates. That means that even the "better fats" are good only in moderation.

Types of Fat and Heart Disease: Many Consumers Know the Bad, Fewer Know the Better

The survey shows that:

-- Only 41 percent of Americans know that consuming monounsaturated fats decreases
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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