Is Everything We Know About Eating Fat Wrong?

By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK.

For years we've been told that a high-fat diet will not only lead to packing on the pounds, but that regularly consuming lots of saturated fat is bound to up our risk of heart disease. It's even part of the fodder fueling the anti-low-carb movement, especially those who question the the increasingly popular Paleo diet.

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This may give them pause: An extensive international study published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine found no evidence that a diet high in saturated fat increases the rate of heart attacks or other cardiac disease. And for that matter, researchers found no less heart disease in those who followed the principles typical of the Mediterranean diet, eating lots of monounsaturated fats like olive oil and nuts.

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Nonetheless, experts not involved the study warn that the proper reaction is not to suddenly start eating 10 ounces of steak drenched in butter sauce every day. That's partly because the question remains of whether saturated fat can cause other, non-cardiac-related problems.

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We think Dr Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, has it right. "The single macronutrient approach [breaking things down into carbs, fat, and protein] is outdated," Hu told The New York Times. "I think future dietary guidelines will put more and more emphasis on real food rather than giving an absolute upper limit or cutoff point for certain macronutrients."

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