You are often reminded not to overeat foods that contain lots of saturated fat. Because, many say saturated fat can cause heart disease. However, how can saturated fat cause heart disease? Or is this just a myth? See the explanation below.
What is the relationship between saturated fat and heart health?
Eating excessive saturated fat can increase LDL cholesterol, aka bad cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can cause fat buildup in the arteries. This can cause stunted blood flow to the heart and brain which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Blood cholesterol levels are strongly influenced by the fat you eat. Cholesterol is mostly produced in the liver from various types of fat that you eat. So, if you eat too much food that contains saturated fat, then your LDL cholesterol level will increase.
Therefore, you should replace your intake of saturated fats with unsaturated fats, wheat carbohydrates, or vegetable protein. The recommended diet should still replace total saturated fat with unsaturated fats, or all wheat carbohydrates, to prevent coronary heart disease.
Based on research published in the journal The BMJ in the UK, the research team analyzed data from two studies in the United States involving more than one hundred thousand people from 1984 to 2012.
The results of his study show that the most commonly consumed primary saturated fatty acids are lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. All of these saturated fatty acids contribute about 9-10 percent of total energy in the study participants. Apparently, any saturated fatty acid is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
So can consuming saturated fat increase the risk of heart disease?
Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine says that saturated fat is not the only cause of heart disease. Then why do many believe saturated fats endanger the heart?
Actually, the suggestion to reduce foods with saturated fats such as cheese, butter, or red meat comes from a study from the University of Minnesota in the 1950s by Ancel Benjamin Keys.
Research conducted in seven countries concluded that saturated fats can increase levels of bad cholesterol in the blood which can then increase the risk of heart disease. Since then, the assumption that saturated fat is the cause of heart disease has spread widely throughout the world.
However, the research was criticized a lot. One of them, the research carried out did not randomly select the country to be subjected to analysis, but rather chose countries that proved the hypothesis. These countries are Yugoslavia (now split into Serbia, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Boznia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia), Finland and Italy. While countries that are known to consume the most fat such as France, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany are not included. In fact, in the country the incidence of heart disease is relatively low.
So, is saturated fat safe to consume?
Another study in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics actually says that currently evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease is not strong enough. Therefore, you should continue to consume saturated fat.
Most foods that are rich in saturated fats come from animal sources, including meat and milk. Researchers tested the risk of saturated fat in 38 obese men. The participants were divided into two groups, the first group had a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet. The second group had a diet low in fat and high in carbohydrates. This study was conducted for 12 weeks.
Apparently, the result was no difference in risk of heart disease from the two groups, namely those who ate a lot of fat and a little fat.
Regardless of whether or not the connection between consumption of saturated fat and heart disease is correct or not, a diet with balanced nutrition is important. Eating too much fat can cause you to be obese. Even so, if you consume too much carbohydrate.
In essence, everything that is excessive is not good for your body. To achieve a healthy life, make it a habit to have a diet with balanced nutrition and active life from now on.
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