Saturated Fats Exonerated

A review of 21 studies covering 348,000 adults shows that eating large amounts of saturated fats does not increase risk for heart disease and strokes (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1, 2010). This is incredible because most doctors believe that the close association of heart attacks and strokes with eating meat or whole milk dairy products is explained by their high saturated fat content. Consider the following:

• Societies that eat lots of saturated fats in coconut, palm and palm kernel oils are not at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and premature death (although these oils may raise the bad LDL cholesterol).

• Poultry is a rich source of saturated fats but has not been shown to increase risk for premature death, cancer or heart attacks.

• Replacing saturated fats with refined carbohydrates actually increases heart attack risk by increasing obesity, insulin resistance, triglycerides, and small LDL particles that cause heart attacks; and by lowering the good HDL cholesterol that helps to prevent heart attacks.

This questions the American Heart Association's recommendation that adults get no more than seven percent of their daily calories from saturated fat. For many years I have reported that inflammation is a more reliable predictor of future heart attacks than blood cholesterol. A recent ezine showed how mammal meat and dairy products can cause inflammation. This is more likely to explain the link between meat and heart attacks than the saturated fat theory.

Today, saturated fats from plant sources, poultry and seafood appear to be healthful as long as you do not take in more calories than you burn.


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