How is heart disease risk affected when saturated fat is replaced by other nutrients?

In the recent Harvard Gazette article “Butter’s benefits melt away,” researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health debunk the controversy surrounding saturated fat and heart health. In a new study appearing online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, senior author Frank Hu and colleagues found that people who replace saturated fat (primarily found in meats and dairy foods) with refined carbohydrates do not lower their risk of heart disease, whereas those who replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats or whole grains lower their heart disease risk.

“Our research does not exonerate saturated fat,” said Hu. “In terms of heart disease risk, saturated fat and refined carbohydrates appear to be similarly unhealthful.”

Additional coverage from HSPH News: Butter is not back: Limiting saturated fat still best for heart health

satfat_slide_9-29-15 (Image provided courtesy of Dr. Walter Willett)