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Evidence on saturated fat and heart disease

21 Mar 2014

A new study, published in Annals of Internal Medicine on 18 March 2014, raises questions about current guidelines which generally restrict the consumption of saturated fats and encourage consumption of polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease.

The European Heart Network (EHN) is reminded that this is not the first time that the issue has been raised of whether the current evidence base is sufficient to advise populations to reduce saturated fat intakes.

This new study does not warrant a change in guidelines with respect to reducing the intake of saturated fats and replacing them with polyunsaturated fats, ideally with more omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. We do recommend that guidelines clarify that there is no benefit in replacing saturated fat with refined carbohydrates.

We agree that it would be useful to have intervention studies to enable us to draw clear conclusions.