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April 2017 Issue

Saturated Fats Increase Heart Disease Risk

Consuming high amounts of saturated fats, found in red meat, dairy fat, lard, and palm oil, may raise the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to Harvard researchers. In addition, replacing those fats with healthier fats, carbohydrates, and proteins may reduce heart disease risk. Researchers analyzed diet and health questionnaires from over 73,000 women and 42,000 men over a period of more than 20 years. Higher intakes of the most commonly consumed major saturated fatty acids (lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid) was associated with a 24-percent increase in CHD. Replacing 1 percent of calories from saturated fat each day with equivalent calories from poly- and monounsaturated fats, whole grains, or plant proteins is estimated to reduce risk by 4-8 percent.

British Medical Journal, November 2016