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Which Fats Really Are Good for Your Heart?

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He reports research support from the International Life Sciences Institute of North America and Bunge Ltd., a food company, for studies on omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and the brain.

Another expert says to focus on the big picture. "Rather than focusing on individual fats, focus on dietary patterns that we know are associated with better heart health," suggests Sheila Innis, PhD, professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia.

For instance, she says, follow a Mediterranean diet pattern, known to lower heart disease risk. The diet includes olive oil as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It limits meats and sweets.

Innis serves on the Unilever scientific advisory board.

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