For years we were told to avoid saturated fats and now new reports come out suggesting that eating saturated fats does not predispose us to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Which is correct?
One major problem with this new study that when we were told to reduce saturated fats we did not turn to eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Instead we increased our intake of processed foods which, in recent studies, has been shown to be a precursor to cardiovascular disease (among others). Studies show that diets high in processed foods increase our risk of cancer, particularly colorectal, prostate and breast cancer, so jumping on the high saturated fat bandwagon may not be the best idea. Americans consume too many different foods and nutrients to easily isolate the effects of just one group, and as such, further studies are needed to adequately support these findings, but there are some common sense things you can do to protect your health in the meantime:
- Keep abreast of the latest nutritional studies but be sure to review both sides of an issue, and be wary of advice that seems to go against common sense
- Practice moderation! Some good quality red meat and a moderate amount of butter are probably fine, but don't overdo
- Add more vegetables and fruits to your diet
- Make at least 75% of your grains whole
- Reduced intake or processed foods and sugar
In general, don't rush to make significant changes to a healthy diet based on every new study; use common sense and apply the principals of balance and moderation.