A new, extensive study has found that saturated fats from red meat and dairy products pose no threat to your health, but trans fats will increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Dietary guidelines say that healthy people can take more than 10 percent (10%) of their daily calories from saturated fats found in butter, egg yolks, salmon, and other animal products.
Trans fats, on the other hand, are unhealthy because they’re industrially produced. They include hydrogenated oils known for keeping margarine and processed foods from going stale. Health experts say that people should not take more than 1 percent (1%) of their daily calories from these dangerous fats.
For the project, a team of researchers from several Canadian institutions looked at 41 previously conducted studies. They ended up examining the cases of 300.000 people who provided data related to saturated fat intake, and 200.000 people who provided data related to trans fat intake. The researchers were interested in finding out what the health outcomes were for both groups.
Saturated fats could not be linked cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. However, it’s worth mentioning that the results were inconclusive when the researchers asked whether or not it can cause premature death.
Trans fats were successfully linked to 34 percent (34%) more of a chance of experiencing premature death due to any given illness, 28 percent (28%) more of a chance of experiencing premature death due to coronary heart disease, and 21 percent (21%) more of a chance of developing heart disease without experiencing premature death.
Trans fats were also found to lower good cholesterol levels.
Russell de Souza, registered dietician and assistant professor of clinical epidemiology & biostatistics from McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario), gave a statement saying that not all of the studies the research team looked at had the same conclusions.
But on average, what the team found was that “the association between a higher consumption of trans fats and a higher risk for heart disease and [early] death was very consistent. And because we found no evidence that trans fat offers any health benefit, removing it from the foods we eat is the right idea”.
Professor de Souza informed that the link between saturated fats and the risk of developing the same health issues was “variable and unclear”. He went on to add that further research needs to be conducted in order to give field experts a better sense of the risks.
But for now, consuming a reasonable amount of saturated fats doesn’t seem to pose any health risks.
The 41 studies that the researchers analyzed were meticulous studies based on long term observations.
Dr. Ronald M. Krauss, coronary artery disease expert from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (California), was not a member of the team working on the new study, but he agrees with their findings.
He gave a statement informing that several studies and reports in recent years have suggested that saturated fats are not linked to heart attacks and strokes.
Saturated fats are found in red meat, dairy products and tropical oils. Out of all of these, Dr. Krauss explained that only red meat may be responsible for causing heart disease, but even in this case, the results are inconclusive. He theorized that people may develop heart problems due to a mix of factors, not just because they consume a lot of red meat.
The study was published earlier this week, on Tuesday (August 11, 2015), in the medical journal BMJ.
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