The relationship between consumption of foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol and a number of coronary heart disease risk factors (blood pressure, serum glucose, serum cholesterol, and triglycerides) was analyzed in a large sample (4,917) of Italian men and women, ages 20-59 years. The dietary habits of the participants were ascertained with a food frequency questionnaire. Intake of atherogenic foods (foods high in cholesterol and saturated fats) was evaluated for each participant. In both sexes, systolic blood pressure, serum glucose, and serum cholesterol increased with higher consumption of atherogenic foods. These findings were independent of any possible confounding effect of age, adiposity, alcohol intake, and cigarette smoking. The present article confirms previous findings that consumption of foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol is associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis.
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