Saturated Fats May Not Be So Bad
Research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that while there is a clear link between trans fats and a greater risk of death and heart disease, the risks that saturated fats pose remain unclear.
Saturated fats mostly come from animal products, such as butter, meat, and milk – as well as some plant products. Current guidelines recommend that saturated fats be limited to less than 10 percent of a daily diet and trans fats be limited to less than one percent to reduce heart disease and stroke risk.
Researchers at McMaster University analyzed results of 50 studies testing the association between saturated and trans fats and health outcomes. Efforts to minimize bias were made, and researchers found no clear link between saturated fats and death. Trans fats, by contrast, were linked to a 34 percent increase in death for any reason, with a 28 percent increase risk of heart disease death, and a 21 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease.
The scientists noted that their results do not support a definitive cause and effect conclusion, But they recommended that people should replace foods high in trans fats, such as processed meats and donuts, with nuts, whole grains and vegetable oils. The jury still seems out for saturated fats, but more research is needed to determine if there are any significant health benefits or risks to higher consumption.