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Focusing On Dietary Saturated Fat As Villain In Heart Disease May Be Wrong Approach

January 26, 2011: 01:13 AM EST

A perspectives article presented at a symposium in Copenhagen challenges entrenched beliefs that saturated fatty acids increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The authors of the paper suggested that looking at one factor like saturated fat content or blood lipids can be misleading because so many “pathways” affect cardiovascular disease risk. To properly assess cardiovascular risk it is necessary to look at all components of the diet, not just one element like fatty acids. For example, the protein, calcium and other nutrients in cheese may counteract the impact of saturated fat content. One study found that replacing saturated fats and trans fatty acids with polyunsaturated fats actually increased the risk of coronary heart disease.

Arne Astrup, et al. , "The role of reducing intakes of saturated fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease: where does the evidence stand in 2010?", American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 26, 2011, © American Society for Nutrition
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