the headlines a few years ago that announced "butter is
back"? Hold on to your churn, grandma. According to the
latest research from Harvard School of Public Health, it’s a
bit more complicated than that.
scientists looked at health outcomes for more than 84,000
women and almost 43,000 men over a 30-year period to see how
dietary fats and carbohydrates were associated with the
development of coronary heart disease (the buildup of plaque
inside of arteries).
they found confirmed what we knew: Saturated fat — the main
type of fat in butter and other high-fat dairy foods and meats
— is associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
And unsaturated fats — mono- and poly-unsaturated fats found
primarily in vegetable oils — are associated with a
back on saturated fat does not appear to be the whole story,
however. These researchers also clarified what we should or
should not be eating in place of saturated fat. People who ate
the healthier unsaturated fats (such as those found in nuts,
avocados and vegetable oils) in place of saturated fat had a
decreased risk for heart disease. A decreased risk was also
found when whole grains were substituted for saturated fats in
decreased risk was found, however, when saturated fat was
replaced with refined carbohydrates (such as substituting jam
on toast in place of butter). This may partially explain why
the low-fat, high-carb trends of the 1980s and 1990s were not
effective in reducing heart disease risk, say these
confused? Here’s how these findings translate to real food:
of the time, choose as your fat of choice one that originated
from a plant. Olive, canola and other vegetable-based oils are
good go-to cooking fats.
solid fats (butter and visible fat on meat) less often and in
smaller portions. Trim visible fat from your meat. Add a bit
of butter for flavor only.
kid yourself by loading up on sugar in place of fat. Saturated
fat and refined carbohydrates seem to be similarly
unhealthful, say experts.
Strive to get at least three servings of a whole grain food
into your daily diet. Examples of what constitutes a serving
include 3 cups popped popcorn (hold the extra butter, please),
one slice of whole grain bread and one corn tortilla.
too, that no one food is all saturated fat or all unsaturated
fat. Beef, for example, is 50 percent saturated and 50 percent
healthful unsaturated. Olive oil is 15 percent saturated and
85 percent unsaturated.
cautious about how much and how often you eat
"grain-based desserts." That’s nutrition code for
all those delectable holiday desserts whose main ingredients
are flour, sugar and butter. This category of food is a major
source of solid fats and added sugars that hurt our hearts,
say nutrition experts.