Dispatches from Euro Fed Lipid Congress, Montpellier.

Saturated fats may not cause heart disease: Researcher

By Anna Bonar contact

- Last updated on GMT

Saturated fatty acids shouldn’t be avoided as they don't cause cardiovascular disease - but 'excess' is the important word, says a human nutrition expert.

“The accumulation of data finally shows that there is no demonstrated link between saturated fatty acids and cardiovascular disease,”​ said Professor Philippe Legrand of AgroCampus Ouest.

“When there is a dogma it can only be broken if the level of proof that it was a wrong dogma reaches certain level and then everything appears clear,”​ Legrand told Food Navigator.

Legrand added that this should be wisely communicated to the general public.

“The danger for the public is to hear ‘you can eat whatever you want and even saturated fatty acids are good for you'. The point is the excess of saturated fatty acids, especially palmitic acid [present in palm oil] remains a risk. ‘Excess’ is the important word.”

It was, however, better news for the food industry.

“The companies will be happier not to always have to fight dogma. They probably won’t sell more food, but they will not be looked at as culprit,” ​he added.

Elimination - the biggest nutritional sin

Legrand said this knowledge could help prevent people from eliminating particular ingredients from their diets, a new malnutrition problem of developed countries.

He also pointed out saturated fats are nutrients and can be a healthy part of everyone’s diet.

 

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