Tags: butter | cheese | saturated | fat | cholesterol | heart | disease

Is Butter Really That Bad for You?

By    |   Wednesday, 23 October 2013 07:21 AM

Butter and cheese may not be as bad for your heart as previously believed.

That's the key conclusion of new research that finds saturated fat, vilified as a dietary evil since the 1970s, does not contribute significantly to heart disease and that the long-believed connection a myth.
The finding, based on a new analysis of recent scientific studies, suggest the latest evidence actually shows that advice to reduce saturated fat intake "has paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks," said lead researcher Aseem Malhotra, a cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital in London.
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In new research published in the British Medical Journal, Malhorta said health officials' obsession with levels of total cholesterol "has led to the over-medication of millions of people with statins and has diverted our attention from the more egregious risk factor" of unfavorable ratios of blood fats.

He added that a major study linked the incidence of coronary heart disease and total cholesterol in the 1970s, but "correlation is not causation" and more recent studies "have not supported any significant association between saturated fat intake and risk of [cardiovascular disease]."
In fact, he noted, some studies have found saturated fat may be protective against heart disease, citing a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found people eating a "low fat" diet were most likely to have unhealthy total cholesterol levels and increased risk for diabetes, compared with a low-carb, low-sugar diet.
Malhotra noted fat consumption in the U.S. has declined from 40 percent to 30 percent in the past 30 years, yet obesity has rocketed in that time. One reason, he said, is that the food industry "compensated by replacing saturated fat with added sugar."
The new research also shows adopting a Mediterranean diet — heavy on healthy fats like olive oil, nuts, fish, and vegetables — after a heart attack is almost three times as powerful in reducing mortality as taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, he added.
"It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity," he said.

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Cheese lovers, rejoice. A new report in the British Medical Journal suggests that butter and cheese may not be as bad for your heart as previously thought. Published Wednesday, the report states that long-maligned saturated fats actually have little impact on your risks of...
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 07:21 AM
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