New study finds no link between saturated fat and heart disease

by Gabriella Munoz   
Credit: shaiitka/Shutterstock

After reviewing nearly 80 studies involving more than half a million people, researchers at Cambridge University found that saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease.

The study, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, also shows that 'good' fats do not lower the risk of heart attack.

So is it time to stop demonising fat?

"It's not saturated fat we should worry about," says Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, lead author of the study. "It's the high-carb or sugary diet that should be the focus of ."

Carbs and sugar contain more artery-clogging particles than saturated and non-saturated fat, and the researchers suggest these should be the focus of new dietary guidelines.

In October 2013, cardiologist Aseem Malhotra, who works at Croydon University Hospital in London, published a report in the British Medical Journal saying there's no link between saturated and . "Indeed, recent prospective cohort studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk. Instead, saturated fat has been found to be protective."

Malhotra believes that our 'fat obsession' comes from "The Seven Countries Study", which started in the late 1950s and was published in 1970. It was the first study to investigate the correlation between diet, lifestyle and in different countries, and it established that saturated and trans fats intake was associated with higher mortality rates. It was also the first one to high-light the many benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

The results of Chowdhury and Malhotra's studies, however, shouldn't be an excuse gorge butter and cake. "It would be unfortunate if these results were interpreted to suggest that people can go back to eating butter and cheese with abandon," said Alice H. Lichtestein, a nutritional biochemist at Tufts University, to The New York Times.

Over the past few years we've been advised to cut fat intake to 30% of total energy and saturated fat to less than 10%, and we should stick to those guidelines until new ones are published.

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rhugh1066
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 13, 2014
The science was settled. There was a consensus.
VOR_
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
"Over the past few years we've been advised to cut fat intake to 30% of total energy and saturated fat to less than 10%, and we should stick to those guidelines until new ones are published" Uh, no, we shouidn't. If you wisely reduce the percentage of carbs/sugars (esp grains), you are left with protein and fat. So if you arn't getting a little more fat than those guidelines, you might be getting a little more protein than optimal. Coconut oil (virgin) is an interesting additional source, with a unique digestability profile.

The science was settled. There was a consensus.


What settled consensus are you referring to?
rhugh1066
1 / 5 (5) Jun 13, 2014
If you lose one of your senses, the body compensates by enhancing your perception of other senses.That's why people with no sense of humor feel such a strong sense of self-importance.
(I admit that I stole that elsewhere.)
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (4) Jun 13, 2014
rhugh1066: You still did not answer VOR's question. So, I will ask it more explicitly. Do you think there is a linkage between this issue on fat and AGW? If so, can you please relate the linkage that you think is there? Or, are you just making noise?
skills4u
5 / 5 (2) Jun 14, 2014
I believe Rhugh 1066's comment is related to the thoughts of some that Scientific studies are considered facts, settled science . People confuse theory with fact. This is not the place to discuss AGW, but fine to discuss science in general.
tadchem
not rated yet Jun 16, 2014
The four major determinants of long-term human health are genetics, diet, exercise, and the microorganisms within us - both pathogens and commensals. Any discussion of chronic health problems such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, etc. that does not consider all four and their inter-relationships is incomplete.

(Can't anybody else here see that the observation of rhugh1066 was sarcastic??)
tadchem
1 / 5 (1) Jun 16, 2014
rhugh1066: You still did not answer VOR's question. So, I will ask it more explicitly. Do you think there is a linkage between this issue on fat and AGW? If so, can you please relate the linkage that you think is there? Or, are you just making noise?


He did not mention AGW. Why did you, and why do you seem to believe he was referring to AGW?
mooster75
4 / 5 (4) Jun 18, 2014
(Can't anybody else here see that the observation of rhugh1066 was sarcastic??)

Why is an incompetent comedian always the fault of the audience?