Saturated Fats Are Important Part of a Healthy Diet

Correlation between fats and health not as significant as thought.

The importance of dairy fats as part of a healthy and balanced diet was confirmed by recent scientific insights presented at the AOCS Hot Topics session on Saturated Fats: Facts and Feelings.

 

Recent studies show that in contradiction to the association between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of cardiovascular disease, reduction of fat intake and concomitant increase of carbohydrate intake among the US population has led to unexpected higher obesity and cardiovascular disease incidence.

Based on the latest scientific findings, the speakers stressed that with the increasing insight in all intricate interactions between fatty acids and health, there is no convincing evidence to make broad dietary recommendations on restricting saturated fats.

New scientific results also have identified specific actions of some saturated fatty acids that are beneficial for health. These results suggest that individual saturated fatty acids have very interesting physiological properties in the human body, such as myristic acid that can improve omega-3 biosynthesis with normal intakes. Therefore, saturated fatty acids should not be considered as one single group.

The symposium concluded that the focus should be on a healthy and balanced diet. Given the contribution of dairy foods to nutrient intake within the population, recommendations to reduce dairy food consumption irrespective of the nature of the dairy product should be made with caution.

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