Saturated fats and health: A reassessment and proposal for food-based recommendations: JACC State-of-the-Art Review

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review


  • Astrup, Arne
  • Magkos, Faidon
  • Dennis M Bier
  • J Thomas Brenna
  • Marcia C de Oliveira Otto
  • James O Hill
  • Janet C King
  • Andrew Mente
  • Jose M Ordovas
  • Jeff S Volek
  • Salim Yusuf
  • Ronald M Krauss

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 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, eggs 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.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)844-857
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Cardiovascular disease, Diet, Saturated fat, Food matrix

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