The increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes typically associated with saturated fat is actually linked to trans fats, according to a new system review of observational studies.
The research found that saturated was not associated with increased risk of heart disease, stroke, or type 2 diabetes at all.
Saturated fats are typically found in meat, egg yolks, butter and milk, while trans fats are partially hydrogenated oils used to increase the shelf life of foods. Foods typically cooked in trans fats include cakes, biscuits, and doughnuts.
Current dietary guidelines recommended that saturated fat consumption be no more than 30g a day for men, and no more than 20g for women. The guidelines are designed to lower rates of heart disease and stroke.
However, a number of recent studies have refuted the guidelines. Last May, research published in the BMJ pointed out that cardiovascular risk has actually increased since saturated fat consumption went down. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine questioned the notion that saturated fat is linked to heart disease at all.
In June, a study published in the BMJ concluded that low-fat dietary advice “not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced.” The pressure has led to more studies concluding that low-carbohydrate diets, rather than low-fat ones, are the most effective for people with diabetes.
This study refutes the link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease, which is one of the most common complications of diabetes. It is one of many recent studies that have questioned the wisdom of a low-fat diet.
“Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats,” the authors wrote.
However, the researchers admitted that they could not be certain about their findings, because the studies they analysing were not precise enough. With future research and greater scrutiny, the researchers are confident their findings will be confirmed.
The findings are published in The BMJ.

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…

Conversation about doctors’ appointments occurring virtually rumbles on

More than half of GP appointments are still being delivered remotely in…

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…