Saturated fat & heart disease the truth
New research calls into question decades-old advice that recommends limiting saturated fat intake to prevent heart disease.
Researchers pooled the results of 72 studies that had looked at the link between fatty acids and coronary disease and found no significant evidence that saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease. They also found no significant evidence that omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats protect the heart.
The researchers say that despite their results, further research is necessary, as some of the participants in the studies already had cardiovascular risk factors or cardiovascular disease, so the results may not necessarily apply to the population at large.
The concept of good fats and bad fats has become increasingly contentious over the last number of years so this study is a very welcome initial step towards clarifying the situation. It is now time for the Department of Health to start considering whether its guidelines on saturated fat intake need to be updated. Such a large u-turn in official recommendations is only likely to be made once the evidence is overwhelming, and this could take many years. The Bristish Heart foundation, who helped fund the study, have said 'We think more research is needed before suggesting any major changes to healthy eating guidance'.
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