Mention “saturated fat” to anyone who’s health conscious, and generally it will conjure images of cardiovascular disease. However, in light of recent evidence, does this still holds true?
This meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at twenty-one studies in order to summarize the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic studies. It showed that there is no significant evidence that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease.
Obviously such studies have caveats, including a reliance on nutritional assessment methods whose validity and reliability may vary, the assumption that diets remain similar over the long term and different methods used by each research group. There is also no distinction as to where the saturated fat is coming from (animal/vegetal, industrial/organic, etc), nor for what are the individual fatty acids composition was in each study.
Does this study allow for a comeback of butter and lard? Not on his own, however it does point serious questions at the “low-fat” dietary approach.
Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2010 vol. 91 no. 3 535-546
Link to the original article: