You have probably heard recent statements that saturated fat is now healthy and does not increase the risk of heart disease as previously believed. You should, for that reason, eat a lot of butter and dairy products as well as fat from other animal sources.

If you happen to read information like that, look for the references and if any are provided read carefully to see how the research was conducted.

Here is the latest on the topic of saturated fat intake compared with unsaturated fat and sources of carbohydrates as it relates to cardiovascular risk (Li Y, et al. 2015).

84,628 women and 42,908 men were followed for 24 to 30 years.

It was found that by replacing 5% of the energy intake from saturated fats with especially polyunsaturated fat, but also monounsaturated fat (these are the types of fat we find in vegetables, nuts and seeds), the cardiovascular disease risk was significantly reduced.

This was also found, but to a lesser extent, when saturated fat was replaced with carbohydrates from whole grains.

When saturated fat was replaced with refined carbohydrates and added sugars, it was not lowering the cardiovascular risk.

Most of the studies of this kind treat all carbohydrates the same, they don’t differentiate between very high glycemic index carbohydrates or low glycemic index carbohydrates.

The results would for that reason not be accurate. Whole grains have a lower glycemic index than white flour and sugar, but they still don’t have a really low glycemic index the way we eat them.

Think of what you could accomplish if, instead of eating saturated fat, you ate fat from vegetable sources, nuts and seeds and a really low glycemic index source of carbohydrates like legumes instead of the grains.

This can be a very effective approach to not only lower the risk for cardiovascular disease, but also the risk for most other chronic conditions.

It can easily be accomplished with some planning and the right tools.

Learn to Eat:

Recommendations that work. This is not a regular diet program.

Li Y1, Hruby A1, Bernstein AM2, Ley SH1, Wang DD1, Chiuve SE3, Sampson L1, Rexrode KM4, Rimm EB5, Willett WC5, Hu FB6. Saturated Fats Compared With Unsaturated Fats and Sources of Carbohydrates in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Oct 6;66(14):1538-48. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.07.055.
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