Saturated fat and diabetes risk

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) released a review in their August 2020 publication stating that recent meta analyses of clinical trials and observational studies have found no beneficial effects from limiting saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the diet. Those meta analyses found that saturated fat has a protective effect against stroke.

The review stated “Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD [Cardiovascular disease]. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods.”

Current dietary recommendations are to limit saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories. Carbohydrates are recommended to be 50-60% of total calories however the review found that increased intake of carbohydrates is associated with a higher risk of CVD and mortality.

This is just the latest published evidence that reducing saturated fat has not been found to be beneficial. The evidence against reducing SFA intake has been mounting over the last few years but nutrition education and the dietary guidelines have yet to catch up.

This review goes into detail about the reasons behind the saturated fat recommendations and the benefits of different whole foods which contain high levels of saturated fat.

Practical applications are:
– Increase your saturated fat intake
– Decrease carb intake (especially refined carbs)
– LDL cholesterol lab work can be misleading due to particle size