#1 low-carb fear: Saturated fat

time-saturated-fat-butter-cover-smNo. This is probably one of the biggest nutrition myths of the last few decades.1  
 
During the last ten years or so, many reviews of all available science have come to the conclusion that there’s no connection between saturated fat and heart disease.23 This fact has also been recognized in many high-quality newspapers.4 It’s simply been a mistake.

Fortunately, during the last several years more and more experts and organizations have realized that natural saturated fats – despite their reputation – appear to be neutral from a health perspective.5

It’s natural to eat saturated fats, as they are found in natural foods that we have eaten throughout evolution.6 This includes human breast milk, and the multiple foods that sustained our ancestors as adults.7

Don’t fear fat. Updated experts don’t.
 
A user guide to saturated fat

Watch doctors explain why saturated fat is neutral

Vegetable oils: What we know and what we don’t

Read recent news about saturated fat

More low-carb fears

  1. Current Nutrition Reports 2018: Saturated fat: part of a healthy diet [overview article]

  2. Here are five meta-analyses showing no connection between saturated fats and heart disease:

     
    Learn more about the science of saturated fat

  3. Beyond studies on saturated fats, there’s no good support for natural foods containing plenty of saturated fats being a concern. For example, butter, meat, coconut oil, etc. In studies, these foods have not been proven to increase heart disease risk:

    American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017: Total red meat intake of ≥0.5 servings/d does not negatively influence cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systemically searched meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials [strong evidence]

    PloS One 2016: Is butter back? A systematic review and meta-analysis of butter consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and total mortality [very weak evidence]

    Indian Heart Journal 2016: A randomized study of coconut oil versus sunflower oil on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with stable coronary heart disease [moderate evidence]

  4. Here are a few examples.

    TIME: Eat butter. Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.

    WSJ: The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade

    The Washington Post: ‘Carbohydrates are killing us’

  5. These include cardiologists like Dr. Bret Scher, Dr. Aseem Malhotra, Dr. Scott Murray and Dr. Blair O’Neill and organizations like The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. Furthermore, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has publicly stated that saturated fat should no longer be considered a nutrient of concern, given the lack of evidence connecting it to heart disease.

  6. Humans and our ancestors have been eating natural saturated fats for millions of years:

    Nature Education Knowledge: Evidence for meat-eating by early humans [overview article]

  7. About 50% of all the fat in breast milk is saturated fat.

    Lipids 2010: Saturated fats: a perspective from lactation and milk composition [overview article]

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