February 13, 2017

Saturated Fat Heart DiseaseIt’s tough to make the right dietary choices when recommendations seem to constantly be changing. We’d been told that saturated fats from sources such as butter, red meat and fried food were detrimental and could affect a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease, but later research indicated there wasn’t enough proof that those who gave up these delicacies improved their heart health – and so, we were given the green light to choose butter over margarine once again.

However, as reported in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists clarify that the lack of noticeable results in reducing saturated fats is more likely related to equally poor dietary choices made in place of those fats – such as refined carbs. Within the study, it was noted that those who exchanged saturated fats in their diet with healthier options, like olive oil (a polyunsaturated fat) and whole grains did lower their heart disease risk by as much as 25%.

According to Adela Hruby, one of the researchers in this study, “We know that people don’t just drop 10% of their calories…and not replace them with other things. What they are adding in to replace what they’re not eating is really important.”

The study, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was remarkably in-depth, tracking the results of just under 130,000 subjects of both genders over thirty years. Keeping track of dietary choices and any heart-related conditions, it was determined that men and women who ate carbohydrates in place of the saturated fats were attaining an almost equal risk of heart disease – a statistic missed in older studies that had determined there was no benefit to reducing the amount of saturated fat in a diet.

So what is the takeaway from this study? Better heart health can be met by not only decreasing the amount of saturated fat in a diet, but also by selecting healthier items than foods with a lot of sugar or processed flour-based foods.

Continuum of St. Louis is also always on hand to plan and prepare heart-healthy meals that are not only nutritious, but delicious, helping seniors reduce their risk for heart attacks and disease. We can also assist aging adults with:

  • Making appropriate dietary choices, and picking up groceries so fresh, healthy foods are always readily available.
  • Taking medications correctly
  • Carrying out physician-recommended activity programs
  • Safely accompanied to doctor appointments and other outings
  • And much more

Give us a call at 314-863-9912 to learn more.