Chronic diseases are by far one of the main causes of mortality in the world. One of the current global recommendations to counteract disability and premature death resulting from chronic diseases is to decrease the consumption of energy-dense high-fat diets, particularly those rich in saturated fatty acids (SFA). The most effective replacement for SFA in terms of risk factor outcomes for chronic disease are polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). The biochemical basis for healthy benefits of such a dietary pattern has been widely evaluated under fasting conditions. However, the increasing amount of data available from multiple studies suggest that the postprandial state, i.e., “the period that comprises and follows a meal”, plays an important, yet underappreciated, role in the genesis of numerous pathological conditions. In this review, the potential of MUFA, PUFA, and SFA to postprandially affect selected metabolic abnormalities related to chronic diseases is discussed.
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