IN A NUTSHELL: The article recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology dispels the popular belief of saturated fatty acids being unhealthy. Indeed, this study highlights protective effects of SFAs against stroke and one of the effects of SFAs on cholesterol lipoproteins. It also insists on the importance of the food matrix, highlighting the facts that the effect of a molecule cannot be taken outside the food matrix that contains it.
The recommendation to limit dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) intake has persisted despite mounting evidence to the contrary. Most recent meta-analyses of randomized trials and observational studies found no beneficial effects of reducing SFA intake on cardiovascular disease (CVD) and total mortality, and instead found protective effects against stroke. Although SFAs increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, in most individuals, this is not due to increasing levels of small, dense LDL particles, but rather larger LDL particles, which are much less strongly related to CVD risk. It is also apparent that the health effects of foods cannot be predicted by their content in any nutrient group without considering the overall macronutrient distribution. Whole-fat dairy, unprocessed meat, and dark chocolate are SFA-rich foods with a complex matrix that are not associated with increased risk of CVD. The totality of available evidence does not support further limiting the intake of such foods.
Source: Astrup A. et al, Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food-Based Recommendations : JACC State-of-the-Art Review. (2020). Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 844‑857.
To go further, we may have some documents for you:
- De-bunking the myths surrounding full-fat dairy foods
- Prevention of cardiometabolic diseases: the SFA paradox
- Yogurt insights that might change the way you think about yogurt
- The relationship between saturated fat and diabetes may be more complex than previously thought
- Low fat dairy vs full fat dairy: why it is key to consider the whole matrix (conference by A. Astrup, ASN Nutrition, June 2018)
To help you include yogurt and dairy products in your daily consumption, take a look at these recipes:
- For breakfast: Fruit and yogurt protein parfaits
- For lunch break: Chicken salad with fig jam
- For diner: Fresh herb falafel pita wrap