A Healthy Switch in the Type of Fat in American Diets Could Lead to Big Savings

The increasing prevalence of health disparities in America makes headlines frequently, as does the resulting economic burden. As the leading cause of death in the U.S., cardiovascular disease alone accounts for one in every six healthcare dollars spent.

While many lifestyle factors impact heart health, diet and, more specifically, dietary fats, play a key role. A growing body of evidence suggests that dietary monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, especially as a substitute for saturated and trans fats, help reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, American Heart Association and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend replacing saturated and trans fats with a combination of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.[i], [ii], [iii]

A research team lead by Cornell professor Dr. John Cawley recently explored the economic impact of following such recommendations. The study, published in the September 2016 issue of Journal of Medical Economics, showed substituting just 5 percent of energy from dietary saturated fats with equivalent energy from monounsaturated fats could save the U.S. $25.7 billion in heart-disease related healthcare costs annually. What’s more, both public and private payers would benefit, with Medicare saving $9.4 billion, private insurers saving $7.9 billion, and patients saving $2.2 billion through reduced out-of-pocket payments. Beyond direct healthcare costs, results also estimated up to $1.2 billion in productivity could be saved each year from fewer days of work lost due to heart disease.


Dow AgroSciences, the developer of Omega-9 Canola Oil, provided a research grant to support this study because, as a company of innovators, Dow believes it has the opportunity help the food and agriculture industry meet the public’s need for healthier food. That is how Omega-9 Canola Oil came about. Dow scientists applied their plant breeding expertise to develop seeds with an improved oil profile, providing performance for foodservice and food processing companies and healthier options for consumers.

Omega-9 Canola Oil is uniquely high in monounsaturated fats, has the lowest levels of saturated fats of commercial cooking oils and has zero trans fats. For more than 10 years, it has been a solution for the food industry in its replacement of saturated fat and hydrogenated oils. As a result, over 1.5 billion pounds of trans and saturated fats have been removed from the North American diet.

Interested in learning more about Omega-9 Canola Oil and its applications in food processing and foodservice? Contact the Omega-9 Oils team today!



[i] US Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015.

[ii] The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. (2016, January 20). Available at

[iii] Vannice G, Rasmussen H. Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: dietary fatty acids for healthy adults. JAND. 2014;114(1):136-153.