A recent article published in the Open Heart journal puts saturated fats back on the menu.
The article suggests there is not enough sufficient data to support the idea of lowering saturated fats to increase survival and ward off heart disease.
It points toward increasing evidence that shows lowering saturated fat while increasing carbohydrates increases the build up of plaque in arteries.
Evidence that beef and other animal fats can contribute to a nutritious diet if used in moderation, the article said.
Dr. James DiNicolantonio authored the article published earlier this month.
The information will be shocking to most, as it goes against advice that has been given over the past years, said Doug Cook, registered dietitian nutritionist.
“The early research never distinguished between the different types of LDL and cholesterol. It looked at lowering saturated fat and didn’t tell the whole picture,” said Cook.
Despite the continuously changing understanding about fats and their impact on health, the type and amount of fat we consume is still important, said Kate Comeau, manager, public relations at Dietitians of Canada.
The best way to stay healthy is to maintain a balanced diet, said Comeau.
“A healthy diet includes regular consumption of fatty fish, nuts, seeds, lean meats and poultry, low fat dairy, fruits and vegetables,” she explained.
There is no reason to believe individuals should be increasing their saturated fat and not be conscious of their intake. People should follow all the same messages they have heard before, said Cook.
“We don’t have evidence to take it out of the food guidelines,” he said, adding the easiest thing to do was choose whole foods.
“There is only one bad fat and that is trans fat,” he continued.
Examples of good fat are steak, cheese, avocado, nuts and seeds whereas bad fats include fast food, such as fries, hydrogenated oils, and basically anything that is not labeled, said Cook.
People should not be eating a high fat diet. It is unhealthy and been connected to heart disease, said Catherine McKee, a registered nurse at Humber College.
“The issue is that people who eat well are suffering from high cholesterol. The reasons are unknown, but these are people, who need medication to lower their blood cholesterol”, said McKee.
If an individual is making healthy choices for sources of fat in their diet there is no need to calculate the amount of saturated fat, Comeausaid.
This is not a free ticket to be enjoying a plate of crispy bacon and steak at every meal, said Comeau.
“We still want to be looking for nutritious foods, such as food that contains less added fat, sugar and sodium,” she said.