A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine made waves through the mainstream media. In a stunning meta-analysis of the relationship between dietary fats and heart disease that included over 600,000 people, the researchers came to the following conclusion:
"Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats."This conclusion flies in direct contrast to the USDA dietary guidelines, which recommend polyunsaturated fats (think corn and soybean oils) as healthy, and saturated fats as unhealthy (think animal fat and coconut oil) in terms of cardiovascular health.
This is certainly not the first study that has been published in the past few years clearly showing there is no link between saturated fats consumption and heart disease.
In 2010, a meta analysis was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. This analysis looked at 347,747 patients from clinical studies during a 23 year period and found that there was no link between saturated fat and heart disease.
In 2013, a study was published inAdvances in Nutrition by Glen D. Lawrence, PhD, from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY: Dietary Fats and Health: Dietary Recommendations in the Context of Scientific Evidence. Dr. Lawrence looked at several meta analyses regarding dietary fats and oils, including one meta-analysis regarding consumption of red meat that included over 1 million people, that showed no connection between saturated fat consumption and heart disease. He too concluded that dietary guidelines against saturated fats were wrong, and pointed out how the research actually showed that the consumption of saturated fats in dairy and coconut oil promoted better heart health (see: Study: Saturated Fat Not Associated with Risk of Coronary Artery Disease, Coconut Oil and Dairy Fat Healthy).