Morning Report

Correcting the Saturated Fat Myth

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH

Disclosures

June 30, 2017

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

Reinforcing the Harms of Saturated Fats

Media reports about saturated fats like butter and red meat can be confusing. In fact, most Americans believe that coconut oil—another saturated fat—is good for them.

This prompted the American Heart Association to issue an advisory on the harms of saturated fats. The AHA emphasizes that well-conducted studies show overwhelmingly that all saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol and increase the risk for heart disease.

They advise people to consume less saturated fat and to instead use poly- or monounsaturated fats, such as canola, soybean, or olive oil. Other food groups to substitute for saturated fat include whole grains, fruits, and veggies.

We already tell patients to follow a healthy diet, such as the DASH or Mediterranean diet. This AHA advisory fine-tunes that advice by telling us which fats to avoid and which to include.

For Medscape and WebMD, I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy.

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD

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