For decades now, saturated fatty acids (SFAs) have been firmly established as the “bad guy” in cardiovascular disease. Conventional wisdom is that saturated fats lead to high cholesterol which leads to the blockage of your arteries.
Lately, however, a growing number of researchers are finding evidence that may exonerate SFAs. We came across one interesting meta-analysis recently published in the Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. The analysis spanned 14 studies involving a total of 598,435 participants that found that a higher consumption of dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs) is associated with a lower risk of stroke. Wait what?
You read that right. In fact, the systematic review of the underlying data of these studies found that every 10 g/day of increase in saturated fat intake is associated with a 6% relative risk reduction in the rate of stroke.
This seems to be consistent with the view that cardiovascular disease is not really a cholesterol disorder but a lipoprotein inflammatory disorder. We also know that people have different genetic variations that allow them to process fats faster or slower. We’ll keep looking for more evidence in this growing debate.
Ultimately, this type of findings provides us with another argument to continue digging deeper into that “conventional wisdom” to find out what may be the right approach to SFAs for you.