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A group of doctors recently wrote an editorial that contradicts traditional beliefs about saturated fat.
Saturated fat, a type of fat commonly found in cheese and butter, is widely perceived to be unhealthy. However, the editorial published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine claims that saturated fat is not directly linked with heart disease. Dr. Aseem Malhotra, lead author of the editorial, explained that heart disease cannot be prevented by merely reducing saturated fat. Instead, he recommended walking for 22 minutes a day, minimizing stress, and eating “real food.”
Dr. Malhotra’s unorthodox opinion, however, is not welcomed by many health experts. Both the American Heart Association (AHA) and the World Heart Federation (WHF) emphasize that too much saturated fat may cause plaque to block blood vessels and eventually lead to heart disease.
A Harvard study also negates the said editorial. To test the effects of saturated fat intake, Harvard researchers monitored the diet of 126,000 people. Results of the study showed that death rates dropped by as much as 19% after reducing the consumption of food that contained saturated fat.
Most health experts are adamant that the editorial is not based on scientific research. However, Dr. Malhotra emphasizes that even though he is not against saturated fat, he also promotes medically-accepted lifestyle programs. These include the Mediterranean diet that requires consumption of more fruits, vegetables, chicken, fish, and grains. On the other hand, AHA recommends reducing saturated fat intake as well. According to them, saturated fat should be limited to 13 grams per day. Among food items that contain saturated fat are beef, lamb, pork, cream, and milk.