June 7, 2013
It is widely accepted that saturated fat is bad and can increase the risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes. However there is much evidence pointing to the contrary. One such review looked at 21 studies involving saturated fat and its relationship to heart disease. The studies lasted between 5 to 23 years and involved 347,747 subjects. The authors conclude, “A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD (coronary heart disease) or CVD (cardiovascular disease)”.
Another study evaluated 235 women with a history of coronary heart disease for an average of 3.1 years. A coronary angiogram was performed at the beginning and the end of the study. The consumption of saturated fats was associated with a decrease in the progression of coronary plaques whereas the consumption of carbohydrates, especially high glycemic carbs, was associated with an increase of coronary plaques.
Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Mar;91(3):535-46
Dietary fats, carbohydrate, and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Nov;80(5):1175-84 .