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Study questions link between saturated fats and early death, heart disease

12th August 2015

A new study has suggested that the assumed link between excess cardiovascular risk and higher intakes of saturated fat may not be as certain as assumed.

The McMaster University team analysed the results of 50 observational studies assessing the association between saturated and/or trans fats and health outcomes in adults.

Results indicated no clear association between a higher intake of saturated fats and premature death, coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, ischaemic stroke or type 2 diabetes.

By contrast, consumption of industrial trans fats was associated with a 34 percent increase in mortality, a 28 percent increased risk of coronary heart disease mortality and a 21 percent rise in the risk of coronary heart disease.

This conclusion runs contrary to prevailing dietary advice, which recommend that saturated fats are limited to less than ten percent of energy, with trans fats ideally accounting for less than one percent.

Lead author Russell de Souza, an assistant professor in the department of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics at the university's Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, said: "We aren't advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don't see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health."ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801797400-ADNFCR

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