Several years ago, there was a buzz when numerous studies showed that the long-accepted view on the evils of saturated fat is untrue. The results received a lot of attention, but it seems that some people are blissfully unaware of this development and they still think that saturated fat is terrible. Let us take a step back to go through the whole story again for those lovely people who have a couple of years of catching up to do.
The story we accepted for many years is that saturated fat is bad for you, period. We came to fear saturated fat as we knew that it raised cholesterol levels which led to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Low-fat and fat-free foods popped up and most of us jumped in to protect our health. Thanks to innovative research, we now know that the truth behind the fat is far removed from the fears we had.
It turns out there has never been any conclusive research into the link between saturated fat and heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and other diseases for that matter. Everything we believed for a long time is incorrect and it was based on a hypothesis that was made official without validation.
Some of the most recent studies to tackle this issue include those undertaken by Temple N.J in 2018 and the large 2015 study by De Souza, et al in 2015. The first study showed that reducing saturated fat has an insignificant effect on the risk of heart disease (approximately a 1.6% risk ratio). The second study highlighted that saturated fat intake has no links to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, or other death causes. The big conclusion – people who eat less saturated fat are just as likely to die from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other causes, as those who eat more of the fat.
So you can now binge on saturated fat because it is not a threat?
Just because saturated fat has been cleared of causing some terrible diseases does not make it good for you. A good plan is to take in what is beneficial. Great healthy options include unsaturated fat and whole grains. You should definitely have some fatty fish, avocados, seeds, whole grains, and nuts. The good news is that polyunsaturated fat and whole grains have actually been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Ditch those low-fat and fat-free foods that are mostly loaded with sugar and definitely stay away from refined carbohydrates which are a real culprit and increase the risk of heart disease.
The next time someone tells you that saturated fat is going to kill you, do explain that the myth has been debunked, and also, do tell them the kind of food and lifestyle that will help them live a healthy life.