It has been common knowledge for decades that avoiding saturated fat would reduce your cholesterol levels and help you avoid cardiovascular problems. A recent study by Dr. Ronald Krauss seems to indicate that we might have been wrong all this time. New data shows that fat and cholesterol do not significantly raise the risk of heart disease. Instead, it is refined carbohydrates in that lead to more heart trouble. Other researchers are beginning to agree.
New Research Exonerates Saturated Fats
Krauss and his colleagues recently completed an intensive study of published research that included over 350,000 subjects monitored between 5 and 23 years. Over all of the studies, the data never indicated that saturated fats played any role in increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. In fact, Krauss and his team were unable to draw any direct links between people who ate diets rich in saturated fats and heart disease. He concludes that the original study indicating that saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease must have been too limited and too focused on the effects of saturated fat without considering other elements of the diet. This shows how important it is to scrutinize studies to find reliable nutrition information.
Researchers Beginning to Investigate Overall Diet
The result of these studies is that researchers are looking for different dietary links to cardiovascular disease. They are considering the overall diets of people who suffer from heart disease and looking for any link that seems to be a common factor worldwide rather than in the limited areas that the older studies used. Their findings indicate that our worst enemy is refined carbohydrates and sugars rather than saturated fat. Even in cultures that commonly eat fatty dishes, the people who also consume large quantities of refined carbohydrates have the highest percentage of heart disease.
Real Culprit is Refined Carbs and Sugars
Refined carbohydrates and sugars are found in many common foods. One of the best ways to recognize these foods is by their color: Nearly all of them are white. White bread, white rice, white pasta, and other white foods that contain mostly empty carbs are the foods researchers are now saying you should avoid if you want to remain heart healthy. These empty carbs also lead to unwanted weight gain, which can also cause unnecessary strain on your heart and cardiovascular system. The key is to eat a more natural diet with a moderate to low intake of refined carbs.
Jessica Bosari writes for about health and nutrition for Nutrionist-World.com, a site that matches students with nutrition and culinary arts programs.