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Saturated fat not off the hook for heart disease

Wednesday 19 March 2014

Saturated fat not off the hook for heart disease: researchers

Recent overseas research claiming that there is no evidence that saturated fat increases heart attacks and other cardiac events needs to be treated with a great deal of caution, according to University of Otago human nutrition and public health experts and a University of Auckland colleague.

In a new blog post on the Public Health Expert blog, the New Zealand researchers carefully examine the issues surrounding the role of dietary fat intake in cardiac and other health, and place the latest research review into the context of the wider body of recent work in this area.

They write that: “At first glance you might think then that this latest review offers substantially new insights into the effects of dietary fats on [Coronary Heart Disease]. However this is not the case.”

Instead of giving a green light to saturated fat, the New Zealand researchers conclude that the best advice for national guidelines should stay as “reduce the intake of saturated fats and replace this with healthier fats, ideally with more polyunsaturated fats (e.g., from fish, canola oils, and nuts etc).”

At the same time, the researchers also emphasise that: “Governments should also state more clearly that replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates is very likely to be hazardous to health.”

The blog post is written by Dr Lisa Te Morenga, Professor Jim Mann, Professor Murray Skeaff, Professor Rod Jackson (University of Auckland), Professor Tony Blakely, Associate Professor Nick Wilson, and Dr Rachael McLean.

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