Saturated fat is not off the hot seat. In fact, a study from Harvard School of Public Health concludes that foods high in saturated fat or trans fats shorten life expectancy. Data was obtained from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, for a total of more than 126,000 people. The researchers took diet assessments at baseline and updated those every two to four years. After three decades, results showed that those people who ate the most foods rich in saturated or trans fats died earlier than those people who ate healthier unsaturated fats, such as olive or canola oil. For example, for every 2% increase in trans fat intake, there was a 16% higher risk of dying during the study period. For every 5% increase in saturated fat there was an 8% increase in risk of dying. Replacing 5% of energy from saturated fat with the equivalent energy from unsaturated fats reduced mortality risk by 27%.
Wang D, Li Y, Chiuve S, et al: Association of specific dietary fats with total and cause-specific mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine 2016;July 5th.