Its trans fats, not saturated fats that increase the risk for death, coronary heart disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes, says a new study.
"For years, everyone has been advised to cut out fats. Trans fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear," said Dr. Russell de Souza, lead author, Mcmaster university.
Saturated fats come mainly from animal products, such as butter, cows' milk, meat, salmon and egg yolks, and some plant products such as chocolate and palm oils. Trans fats are produced industrially from plant oils using a process called as hydrogenation. They are widely used in margarine, snack foods and baked goods.
The current recommended levels for consumption of saturated fats are less than 10 percent and trans fats are less than 1 percent per day.
Researchers analyzed the observational results of 50 adults to know whether saturated fats or trans fats were associated with the risk for the diseases. The health outcomes in adults showed that saturated fats were not associated with death, coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiovascular disease (CVD), ischemic stroke or Type 2 diabetes.
However, they found trans fat consumption was associated with a 34% increase in death, a 21% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease and a 28% increase in the risk of coronary heart disease.
"Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats," the authors concluded..
"Replace foods high in these fats, such as high-fat or processed meats and donuts, with vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains," they suggested. The paper was published in British Medical Journal