The saturated fats found in meat and dairy produce are not as bad for health as previously believed, a study has found. However, the scientists who conducted the research have warned against reaching for the butter dish.
A major study into the health implications of dietary fats has failed to find a link between food containing saturated fats, such as eggs, chocolate and cream, and an increased risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or type-2 diabetes.
The study nevertheless did find that industrially-produced “trans-fats” made from hydrogenated oils, and once used in margarine, snack foods and packaged baked foods such as some cakes and crisps, are linked with a greater risk of death from coronary heart disease.
The latest findings, published in the British Medical Journal, appear to confirm the growing realisation that the prevailing health advice for the past half century to cut down on foods that are rich in saturated fats such as butter and cheese may have been misguided.
The study, carried out in Canada by Russell de Souza of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and colleagues found no association between saturated fats and ill health, but did find a link with the consumption of foods containing trans-fats, such as margarine.