An article this week in the British Medical Journal – by cardiology specialist Aseem Malhotra – suggests removing saturated fat from our diets may actually increase our cardiovascular risk.
Recent studies have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and cardiovascular risk and saturated fat has even been found to be protective.
Saturated fats are present in meat and dairy and in coconut oil. For years they have been implicated as the cause of heart and cardiovascular disease, although in many nutritional circles it is now believed that saturated fat is not the evil substance many believe it to be.
Since the 1960s, governments around the world have emphatically stated that saturated fat is the cause of increased cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease.
Since then, there has been a disproportionate increase in the use of fried vegetable oil, refined carbohydrate and sugar in food. Although saturated fat intake has reduced in the developed world, heart disease and type II diabetes has steadily increased.
It could be that saturated fat isn’t the problem at all, but that people are eating food high in sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates and margarine.
Fat is important in the production of many hormones. For example, we make hormones from cholesterol and fat and some saturated fat in our diet is important for our body to deal better with stress.
You can read the full article online here.