October 2, 2010

Experts Re-examine Role Of Saturated Fat

For the past 25 years or more health experts have warned that saturated fat was a major cause of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease (CVD).

However, new evidence has shown that saturated fat intake has only a very small impact on the risk of CVD, which has caused many experts to change their stance on the evils of saturated fat.

The Global Dairy Platform has promoted several research articles published in the October issue of Lipids, which provides evidence of recent advances in saturated fat and health research, based on science presented at the 100th American Oil Chemists' Society (AOCS) annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, which took place in May 2009.

"Although diets inordinately high in fat and saturated fat are associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk in some individuals, assuming that saturated fat at any intake level is harmful is an over-simplification and not supported by scientific evidence," said Bruce German, a food science professor at the University of California - Davis.

The dairy industry says saturated fat intake has a minor impact on CVD risk. They have argued for a long time that dietary advice wrongly accuses saturated fat as the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure.

The American Heart Association advises that people get no more than seven percent of their daily calories from saturated fat, which occurs naturally in many foods, including beef, pork, cream, butter and other dairy products.

The AHA advises that fat intake should not exceed 35 percent of daily calories. The remainder of fat intake should come from nuts, fish and vegetables, which are sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

The Global Dairy Platform is an international non-profit organization founded in 2006. Among its goals, include "sustaining and expanding global demand for milk and dairy products," according to its website. The group argues that people should reduce carbohydrates and eat more fish, along with a glass of milk. It says that milk, cheeses and other dairy products are wrongfully blamed for causing CVD.


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