RE: Fat is good?
Posted Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 6:11 PM
There are a few issues with this research that are important to note. First, the researchers looked at studies which adjusted for blood pressure, diabetes status, and other factors that go along with saturated fat intake, and when you do that, it can obscure the effect of “bad” fats on heart disease.
Imagine if researchers were doing a study to see if overeating causes weight gain. Obviously, they would find that it does. But if they adjusted the results for the participants’ calorie intake, pants size, and waist circumference, the effect on weight would be obscured.
Secondly, many studies have shown and continue to show a significant increased risk for heart disease with saturated fat intake, including sudden cardiac death.
Maybe less confusing is the value of focusing on foods, not individual nutrients. We know without a doubt that meat and dairy products are associated with higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, while plant-based diets are protective. I think getting tripped up on nutrients (bad or good), can sometimes mean not seeing the forest through the trees.
Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education