Saturated Fat Alone Doesn’t Predict Heart Disease Risk

Saturated Fat Alone Doesn’t Predict Heart Disease Risk



There’s no clear evidence supporting decades-old dietary guidelines to cut our saturated fat intake to promote heart health, a new review concludes.

The review of 45 observational studies and 27 randomized trials on coronary heart disease risks based on diet data from more than 600,000 people in Europe, North America and Asia was published in Monday’s issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (olive oil, safflower oil and canola oil). Foods high in saturated fats include coconut oil, butter, nuts, poultry and red meat.

Despite a focus on reducing saturated fat in the diet dating back to the 1970s, saturated fat by itself did not help predict heart disease risk, said study author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of the department of epidemiology at Harvard University in Boston.

“Current evidence does not clearly support guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats,” the researchers concluded.