Saturated fat is making a comeback after a recent meta-analysis in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that, “there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] or CVD [cardiovascular disease].”
Saturated fat is found in dark meats, whole milk, low-fat milk, full fat cheese and yogurt made from whole milk and butter. For years nutritional science has shown correlation between high saturated fat intakes and heart disease, and therefore, has established guidelines to limit consumption to no more than 7% of calories.
This news has sparked heated conversations between saturated fat supporters and opposers.
We live in a “this is good and this is bad” culture. When you realize that this way of thinking does not apply to your diet, things get a lot less confusing. Rather than good or bad, think of a food or nutrient on a spectrum. When comparing a piece of salmon with a steak, the salmon is more nutritious, but when you compare a steak with a doughnut the steak is more nutritious.
Dietary fat is just one factor that drives heart disease risk. More and more emphasis is –and should be—placed on the total lifestyle factors. Obesity, genetics, sedentary lifestyles, diabetes, high blood pressure, stress and lack of sleep are just as detrimental to health as saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, cholesterol or sugar.