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Saturated fat may not be as bad for us after all

The traditional diet-heart hypothesis predicts that replacing saturated fat with vegetable oil rich in linoleic acid will reduce coronary heart disease events and deaths by lowering serum cholesterol. Older studies have shown that these dietary changes do indeed reduce serum cholesterol, but the clinical benefits of this have never been clearly demonstrated.

Researchers analysed previously unpublished data from two landmark trials and found that, although serum cholesterol was reduced, this did not translate to improved survival. Autopsy examinations showed that an intervention group did not have reduced levels of atherosclerosis or fewer infarcts.

They conclude there has been an overestimation of the benefits of using linoleic-rich oils to replace saturated fats in the diet.

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