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Study suggests advice on saturated fats could be wrong

Study suggests advice on saturated fats could be wrong

Federated Farmers is welcoming a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found no link between saturated fats and heart disease. While this in no way endorses an unbalanced diet, it is perhaps a start on centring the pendulum.

“It is significant that the British Heart Foundation helped to fund a study which questions current dietary advice that polyunsaturated fats are good and saturated fats are inherently bad,” says Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairperson.

“An international team led by the University of Cambridge’s Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury has collated and re-analysed data from 72 separate studies involving over 600,000 participants.

“Having read an interpretation of the study and the study itself, this is potentially very good news for red meat and dairy products. It suggests conventional wisdom maybe turned on its head.

“The studies that Dr Chowdhury’s team looked at considered saturated fats as a component in diet and levels in the bloodstream. When these were put side-by-side, no association could be determined between total saturated fats and coronary disease risk.

“We are not for a moment suggesting people go out on a bender eating every meat and dairy product they can.

“What this study supports is this fundamental message; as part of a healthy and balanced diet, meat and dairy products are potentially good for you. The issues affecting heart disease seem to come back to factors like smoking, alcohol, weight and exercise.

“The Cambridge University-led study warrants a lot more work to confirm what it seems to have uncovered. If you Google saturated fat in New Zealand right now, all the advice is to reduce or eliminate its consumption.

“That advice may be wrong but we need more work to confirm it. Then again, we have seen this pendulum shift before with foods oscillating between being bad and good for you.

“The one statistic we cannot argue about is that the life expectancy of New Zealanders continues to trend upwards and this curve is getting ever steeper.

“Simply put, the quality of red meat we eat today is the best it has been in human history and will only continue to get better. It will be great for us if saturated fats are found not to be a problem fat,” Mrs Maxwell concluded.


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