Saturated Fat: Friend or Foe?
- 1.7k Downloads
Reducing consumption of dietary saturated fat (SFA) has been part of dietary recommendations for many years as a means to prevent cardiovascular outcomes. Yet, recent research has challenged this very basic concept in preventive nutrition. Data have suggested that LDL-C raising effect of dietary SFA may be influenced by its dietary source, cheese having less hypercholesterolemic effects than butter. Observational cohort studies have generally failed to find significant associations between intake of SFA and risk of coronary heart disease. In large intervention studies, substituting vegetable oil rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids for SFA have not yielded consistent results in terms of cardiovascular benefits. In the end, there is no absolute consensus on the importance of SFA in a heart-healthy diet. As emphasized in this chapter, more research is required to put this debate at rest. In the mean time, focusing on whole foods and dietary patterns, without overly emphasizing the importance of SFA in the diet, seems entirely reasonable and appropriate.
KeywordsSaturated fat Ccoronary heart disease Dietary guidelines Polyunsaturated fat
The author is Chair of Nutrition at Laval University. This Chair is supported by unrestricted endowments from Royal Bank of Canada, Pfizer, and Provigo/Loblaws. He has received funding in the last 5 years for his research from the CIHR, NSERC, Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, the Canola Council of Canada, Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), Dairy Research Institute (DRI), Atrium Innovations, the Danone Institute, and Merck Frosst. He has received speaker honoraria over the last 5 years from DFC and DRI. He is Chair of the Expert Scientific Advisory Panel of DFC and was a member of the ad hoc committee on saturated fat of Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.
- 1.Hunt CL. Food for young children. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture, Farmer’s Bulletin;1916. p. 717.Google Scholar
- 3.Mansfield HC. A short history of OPA. Washington, DC: Office of Temporary Controls OoPA; 1947. p. 332.Google Scholar
- 4.Welsh SO, Davis C, Shaw A. 1993. USDA’s Food Guide: Background and Development. United States Department of Agriculture. Human Nutrition Information Service. Miscellaneous Publication No. 1514. Hyattsville, MD, p 1–38.Google Scholar
- 7.Yerushalmy J, Hilleboe HE. Fat in the diet and mortality from heart disease; a methodologic note. NY State J Med. 1957;57:2343–54.Google Scholar
- 8.Committee USS. Dietary goals for the United States. US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Washington, DC; 1977.Google Scholar
- 9.Committee USS. Dietary goals for the United States, 2nd ed. US Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs. Washington, DC; 1977.Google Scholar
- 22.Huth PJ, Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, et al. Major food sources of calories, added sugars, and saturated fat and their contribution to essential nutrient intakes in the U.S. diet: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2003–2006). Nutr J. 2013;12:116.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 25.Drouin-Chartier JP, Côté JA, Labonte ME, et al. Comprehensive, evidence-based review of the impact of dairy products and dairy fat on cardiometabolic risk factors. Adv Nutr. 2016. In press 2016.Google Scholar
- 26.(Medicine) CoQoBaSEiCDIo. Evaluation of biomarkers and surrogate endpoints in chronic disease. National Academy of Sciences; 2010.Google Scholar
- 36.Hooper L, Martin N, Abdelhamid A, Davey Smith G. Reduction in saturated fat intake for cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(6):CD011737.Google Scholar
- 38.Drouin-Chartier JP, Brassard D, Tessier-Grenier M, et al. Systematic review of the association between dairy product consumption and risk of cardiovascular-related clinical outcomes. Adv Nutr. 2016. (In press 2016).Google Scholar