Experts: We may have been wrong about the evils of saturated fats
People should still avoid artificial trans fats, report says
For the report, researchers from Cambridge University and the British Heart Foundation analyzed data on more than 600,000 adults participating in 72 studies. They found that the participants' total saturated fat quantity—whether measured in their bloodstream or in their diet—had no effect on their risk of coronary disease.
Health experts have long warned against eating saturated fats because they have been linked to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol—the kind that raises the risk of heart attacks. But researchers found that the relationship between LDL cholesterol and saturated fats is complex.
Although saturated fats cause an increase in LDL levels,
they also increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.
And the LDL that it does increase in a subtype is generally considered benign.
Research suggests that it is actually sugary and carbohydrate-laden foods that increase the dangerous LDL types.
"It's the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines," says lead author Rajiv Chowdhury, adding,
"These are interesting results that potentially stimulate new lines of scientific inquiry and encourage careful reappraisal of our current nutritional guidelines."