This webtool calculates how blood lipids and lipoproteins change when the composition of the diet changes. It is based on high-quality scientific data. See "About" for details.
Individual responses to diet may differ from the group averages calculated here. Also, total daily calories must be the same for all diets compared. Changes in caloric intake will cause changes in body weight, and these will affect blood lipids, independent of the composition of the diet.
You need to enter data for a full day's diet. The effect of a single food, e.g. one doughnut, can be calculated as follows. Under diet 1, add the grams of the various fats in an average daily diet to those in one doughnut. Under diet 2, add upp the grams in an average daily diet and those in the food with which you want to compare the doughnut. Choose the amount of the comparison food such that it provides the same number of calories as the doughnut.
Help for specific topics is given under . See About and Disclaimer for further information and a Medical Disclaimer
This site works better with Mozilla Firefox than with Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Firefox is a very safe browser, and you can download it for free. Firefox looks and works the same as Internet Explorer, and you can have Firefox and Explorer on the same computer and switch between them as you like
Diet names can be six characters long. Use any character you like.
If your screen becomes too cluttered while entering data use Reload or Refresh on the View menu or F5 to clean up the screen.
You do not need to enter a value for every fatty acid. If you only want to know how blood lipids change when e.g. trans fat intake increases by 1% of energy you can enter 1 for trans fatty acids under diet 2, and leave everything else at 0. Then continue to step 3 and view the changes from diet 1 to diet 2.
Effects of saturated, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids are based on the meta-analysis of Mensink RP et al.( Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77:1146-1155)
You can select individual saturated fatty acids (e.g. palmitic or stearic acid), or total saturated fatty acids, but not both.
When you enter saturated fatty acids individually, results may be slightly different than when you enter total saturated fatty acids, because coefficients for individual saturated fatty acids were derived from a smaller set of publications (Mensink RP et al, Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77:1146-1155)
You can enter fatty acids as % of energy (= % of daily calories), as gram per day, or as % fatty acids (= grams per 100 gram of total fatty acids). You may also enter negative numbers. If you select gram per day or %fatty acids the program will query you for total daily energy intake and/or for total daily fat intake
WARNING: in calculating effects on blood lipids the program always keeps energy intake forcibly constant, and it makes up the differences with carbohydrate.
An example: suppose you enter 20 % of energy from saturated fatty acids for diet 1, and 8 % of energy for diet 2. The program now invisibly adds 12% of energy as carbohydrates to diet 2, unless you yourself increase e.g. cis-monounsaturated fatty acids in diet 2 by 12 % of energy.
You can enter fatty acids as % of energy (= % of daily calories), as gram per day, or as % fatty acids (= grams per 100 gram of total fatty acids). You may also enter negative numbers. If you select gram per day or %fatty acids the program will query you for total daily energy intake and/or for total daily fat intake.
Effects of trans fatty acids are based on a meta-analysis of Mensink RP 2005 as reported in Mozaffarian D et al. N Engl J Med 2006;354:1601-13.
Effects of fish fatty acids (Very-long-chain omega-3 HUFA) on total, LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides are based on the meta-analysis of Harris W.S. (Am J Clin Nutr 1997;65(suppl): 1645S- 1654S). The present version of the program only calculates effects for subjects with triglyceride levels below 2 mmol/l (177 mg/dL). Effects for subjects with higher triglyceride levels are known to be larger.
Very-long-chain n-3 fatty acids also have effects on the Total/HDL cholesterol ratio, apoA-1 and apoB levels, but because there are no meta-analytical data these cannot be calculated and are therefore reported as 0!
Effects of dietary cholesterol are calculated according to the meta-analysis of Weggemans RM et al. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2001;73:885-91). Dietary cholesterol may also have effects on triglycerides, apoA-1 and ApoB levels, but because there are no meta-analytical data these cannot be calculated and are therefore reported as 0
Effects of dietary protein are based on the average effect of protein on blood lipids in four controlled trials (Katan MB. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006;83:989-90). These data are tentative only, and effects of protein calculated by the present program are less reliable than those of other nutrients.
Dietary protein may also have effects on the total/HDL cholesterol ratio, apoA-1 and ApoB levels, but because there are no meta-analytical data these cannot be calculated and are therefore reported as 0
You have selected the unit " fatty acids" for fatty acid intake. Now please enter total fat intake, so that the program can convert fatty acids into energy
You have selected the unit "% fatty acids" or "gram per day" for fatty acid or protein intake. Now please enter total daily energy intake, so that the program can convert your input into % energy.
If you do not have values for energy intake, the program can calculate it from macronutrient intake. Click "Let me enter fat, protein, carbohydrates and alcohol" and enter macronutrients.
Total fat, protein, total carbohydrates and alcohol intake is used here only to calculate total energy intake. Fat, protein, carbohydrates and alcohol intake also affect blood lipids and lipoproteins, but these effects are ignored here. Calculations for fatty acids and dietary protein do assume that these are isocalorically replaced with carbohydrate
Alcohol intake is used only to calculate total energy intake. Alcohol affects blood lipid and lipoprotein levels, but these effects are ignored here and are arbitrarily set to 0
Every time you change your input you need to press " Proceed to step 2 " again
Check your entries carefully, because the program does NOT check for impossible entries, e.g. energy from fat higher than total energy, or LDL cholesterol higher than total cholesterol .
If input data are wrong go back and change them. Press "Proceed to step 2" after completing your changes.
Select an initial diet. The program calculates the change in blood lipids when subjects replace this initial diet by another diet.
Select the diet that replaces the initial diet. The program calculates the change in blood lipids when subjects replace the initial diet by this other diet.
Select Custom if you want to enter self-selected initial values for Total cholesterol etc. The program adds the calculated changes in blood lipids to these initial values to produce new blood lipid levels.
Select Av. Am. if you want the program to enter initial values for blood lipids. The program will enter levels similar to the average levels of healthy Americans (Ginsberg HN et al. Effects of reducing dietary saturated fatty acids on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in healthy subjects: the DELTA Study, protocol 1. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 1998;18:441-9). The program sums these values with the calculated changes to produce the new blood lipid levels.
Small rounding errors may appear when you switch back and forth between mg/dL and mmol/L. Use Reload or Refresh on the View menu or F5 to clear up such errors.
Click Show Details to see what effect each separate nutrient has on blood lipids and lipoproteins. The Details screen also provides access to a printer-friendly version of your results.
Click Print version for an overview of your results. Copy and Paste your results from Print Version into a spreadsheet or word processing file for printing
Whenever your screen becomes unresponsive or too messy, use Reload or Refresh on the View menu or F5 to restore your input screen. Your data will be conserved.
To convert to mg/dl multiply by 39 for cholesterol and by 89 for triglycerides