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There has been a backlash against low fat diets, leading people
to go in the opposite direction, embracing diets high in saturated fat
The truth is diets low in saturated fat won't reduce heart
disease risk if the saturated fat is being replaced with refined carbs. This decreases HDL (good cholesterol) and can
increase triglycerides and the blood sugar response.
But as both of the review studies below demonstrate, when
saturated fat in the diet is replaced with plant and fish sources of fat
(omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) it decreases
heart disease risk -- HDL increases and LDL (bad cholesterol) decreases.
This is basically the Mediterranean diet -- low in saturated
fat, high in fruits and vegetables and healthy fat sources like olive oil and
nuts. While the French may have diets higher in saturated fats, they also tend to be leaner, walk more and eat other heart healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
While the evidence continues to evolve, there isn't enough
to recommend a diet high in saturated fat to reduce heart disease.
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