7,038 participants at high risk of CVD were examined in the PREDIMED study (PREvencion con DIeta MEDiterranea) with a 6-year follow-up. Unsurprisingly, monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid intakes were associated with a reduction of CVD risk (- 50% and -32% respectively between extreme quintiles), whereas the intakes of saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and trans-fats are associated with increased risk (+81% and +67% respectively).
Less risk with SFA from dairy
The purpose of this study was to go further in studying the different sources of SFAs separately. As a result, it appears that SFAs from dairy products have a tendency to be associated with a reduced risk, whereas SFAs in pastries and other processed foods (cookies, donuts, bakery, sauces, pizza and other) are significantly associated with an increased risk of CVD (+46%). According to the authors, the beneficial effects of dairy products on CVD are mainly attributed to other nutrients, such as calcium, potassium, peptides, and some vitamins, instead of only the type of SFA.