New research has weakened the perceived link between saturated fat and heart disease. Today, many experts agree that refined carbs pose a much greater danger.

By Jack Challem / June 2011
Experience Life

Is it possible — even imaginable — that nearly everyone has been wrong about saturated fat and its connection to heart disease? Brace yourself. Based on a wave of new research, all the dietary admonitions about saturated fat could end up being little more than a huge mistake.

“The question is whether saturated fat is harmful or is just a bystander,” says Ronald M. Krauss, MD, a lipid specialist and the director of atherosclerosis research at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute. “Saturated fat may have an effect on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, but the effect is so small that we just can’t detect it. We shouldn’t be demonizing saturated fat.”

Krauss can back up his opinion with hard science. He and his colleagues recently analyzed 21 published studies involving almost 350,000 people who were tracked from five to 23 years. Their conclusion: People who consumed the most saturated fat did not have a higher risk of heart disease, stroke or any other form of CVD. They published their findings last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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