Kyle Heffner, Brinson Wellness Coach

For many years, U.S. Dietary Guidelines have urged people to limit the amount of saturated  such as the ‘harder’, visible fats on steaks or the fat in butter, but recent studies suggest that there is not a clear connection between dietary intake of saturated fats and the risk of coronary artery disease.  See the link:

The Annals of Internal Medicine conducted a meta-analysis of published studies that concluded that there is “insufficient evidence to support the long-standing recommendation to consume saturated fat in very low amounts”.

To follow this shift in thinking, the original stance has been that LDL cholesterol increases with the intake of saturated fats. However, the data has not revealed a strong association.  Since the studies show that the incidence of coronary artery disease does not increase with the intake of saturated fats, the researcher are re-thinking the connection.

One co-author from the Harvard School of Public Health suggest that saturated fats have a relatively neutral effect. It may be that saturated fats increase the HDL cholesterol and lower the triglyceride levels, which would, in turn, protect against heart disease.

So, it may be best to limit, instead, the carbohydrates or starchy foods that promote weight gain. Instead, focus on a wholesome diet such as the Mediterranean-style diet rich in veggies, fish, fruits, nuts, olives and yogurt.

However, vegetable oils that have been hydrogenated will likely contain trans fatty acids that are still considered to be hazardous.

Naturally occurring saturated fats may not be the ‘bad’ fats after all.