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      Perfect 10 Blog

      Mar 24

      Study fails to link saturated fat, heart disease

      Posted by: KatMeyer in About The Perfect 10 Diet

      Tagged in: Untagged 

      The saturated fat found mainly in meat and dairy products has a bad reputation, but a recent analysis of published studies finds no clear link between people's intake of saturated fat and their risk of developing heart disease.

      Research has shown that saturated fat can raise blood levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, and elevated LDL is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Because of this, experts generally advise people to limit their intake of fatty meat, butter, and full-fat dairy. The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests that adults get no more than 7 percent of their daily calories from fat; for someone who eats 2,000 calories a day, that translates into fewer than 16 grams of saturated fat per day.

      A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January, 2010, combines the results of 21 previous studies, and shows no clear evidence that higher saturated fat intakes led to higher risks of heart disease or stroke.

      The findings don't surprise Dr. Aziz one bit, “Some studies have shown that saturated fats even prevent heart disease. Look at the French, no heart disease despite their high saturated fat intake, is it really a paradox?” He also added, “Saturated fats also help with our sex hormones—estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone—which keep us young, and full-fat dairy contains CLA which helps with weight loss.”

      This important study failed to achieve much media attention, yet it is groundbreaking given that we were told that saturated fats were bad for 40 years. In fact, the past AHA president Robert H. Eckel cautioned against "over-interpreting" the results of previous studies.

      Dr. Aziz explains the LDL link to saturated fats and why doctors thought they were bad:

      Saturated fats raise the fluffy LDL, which is not linked to atherosclerosis because it passes freely through the arteries; it is, rather, the small LDL that is affected by sugar that causes the harm. Doctors do not routinely check an advanced lipid test to know which LDL is affected before prescribing a cholesterol lowering drug. Sex hormones levels are rarely checked by doctors and the public continues to suffer as we eliminated these types of fats.  I am doing my part by getting The Perfect 10 Diet’s message to the public and doctors. Hopefully, one day the nation will wake up to the fact that we were once told to follow the biggest myth in the history of mankind.

      More on the study below:

      Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association
      of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

      Patty W. Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B. Hu, and Ronald M. Krauss


      Background: A reduction in dietary saturated fat has generally
      been thought to improve cardiovascular health.

      Objective: The objective of this meta-analysis was to summarize
      the evidence related to the association of dietary saturated fat with
      risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and cardiovascular
      disease (CVD; CHD inclusive of stroke) in prospective epidemiologic

      Design: Twenty-one studies identified by searching MEDLINE and
      EMBASE databases and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion
      in this study. A random-effects model was used to derive
      composite relative risk estimates for CHD, stroke, and CVD.

      Results: During 5–23 years of follow-up of 347,747 subjects, 11,006
      developed CHD or stroke. Intake of saturated fat was not associated
      with an increased risk of CHD, stroke, or CVD. The pooled relative
      risk estimates that compared extreme quantities of saturated fat intake
      were: 1.07 (95% CI: 0.96, 1.19; P = 0.22) for CHD; 0.81 (95%
      CI: 0.62, 1.05; P = 0.11) for stroke; and 1.00 (95% CI: 0.89, 1.11;
      P = 0.95) for CVD. Consideration of age, sex, and study quality did
      not change the results.

      Conclusions: A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies
      showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that
      dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD
      or CVD. More data are needed to elucidate whether CVD risks are
      likely to be influenced by the specific nutrients used to replace
      saturated fat. Am J Clin Nutr doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725

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