Dietary saturated fat is linked to developing heart disease, according to a new study published in The BMJ. Researchers followed 115,782 participants from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study who were free of heart disease at the beginning of the analysis. After adjusting for multiple factors, including weight, exercise, and family history, people who consumed the most saturated fat had an 18 percent increased risk for developing heart disease, compared with those who consumed the least, after approximately 21-26 years of follow-up. Replacing saturated fat in the diet with healthier foods, including whole-grain carbohydrates, was associated with a reduced risk for heart disease. The authors conclude that current recommendations to avoid saturated fats are necessary to prevent heart disease.
- Zong G, Li Y, Wanders AJ, et al. Intake of individual saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: two prospective longitudinal cohort studies. BMJ. 2016;355:i5796.