Are Healthy Fats A Part of Your Diet? Here’s Why They Need To Be…

Systematic Review Finds No Grounds for Current Warnings Against Saturated Fat

Dr Mercola |


For well over half a century, the media and a majority of health care officials have warned that saturated fats are bad for your health and lead to a host of negative consequences, including high cholesterol, obesity, and heart disease.

The American Heart Association began encouraging Americans to limit dietary fat, particularly animal fats, in order to reduce their risk of heart disease as far back as 1961. And as of 2010, the current recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture1 (USDA) call for reducing your saturated fat intake to a mere 10 percent of your total calories or less.

Worse yet, fat was virtually removed entirely from the latest USDA “food pyramid,” now called “MyPlate.” Except for a small portion of dairy, which is advised to be fat-free or low-fat, fats are missing entirely!

But despite low-fat diets having become the norm over the past six decades, American levels of heart disease, obesity, and high cholesterol have skyrocketed, far surpassing such disease rates in modern-day primitive societies that still use saturated fat as a dietary staple.

Clearly there’s a lot of confusion on the subject of saturated fats, even among health care professionals. Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn, as the truth about these correlations is becoming more glaringly obvious.

Systematic Review Finds No Grounds for Current Guidelines on Fat

Four years ago, a meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition2 came to the conclusion that there’s “no significant evidence… that saturated fat is associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease.”

Now, yet another meta-analysis of 49 observational studies and 27 randomized controlled trials published in a major publication, the Annals of Internal Medicine 3,4,5 has reached the same conclusion. In all, the analysis included data from more than 600,000 people from 18 countries, and according to the authors:

“[C]urrent evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.”

The study looked at four categories of dietary fats: saturated fats; polyunsaturated fats, such as omega-3 and omega-6; monounsaturated fats such as olive oil; and trans fats. Saturated fats, which have the longest history of being (wrongfully) demonized, were found to have no effect on heart disease risk.

Ditto for monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, which are generally recognized as being heart healthy. Both omega-3s and omega-6s were also deemed to be beneficial6, 7 for heart health. The only fat found to really promote heart disease was trans fat (found in margarine, vegetable shortening, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils). Fortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already taken steps to remove these harmful fats from the food supply.

They plan to do this by removing partially hydrogenated oils—the primary source of trans fats—from the list of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) ingredients. If the proposal goes through, it would be a big step in the right direction. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also READ MORE:

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