Should Saturated Fat be Limited to Treat or Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
Objective: The purpose of this review was to determine if the recommendation to reduce SFA consumption to treat or prevent CVD is still relevant in the context of current peer-reviewed, evidence-based literature.
Methods: A literature review regarding SFA and CVD was conducted using articles from 2011-2018 through PubMed.
Results: 374 articles were found, of which 211 were excluded. The remaining inclusions included 37 primary research articles and 21 reviews. All included publications were examined using the EAL Quality Criteria. Of the positive quality primary research, 8 studies found SFA to have a negative impact on CVD, 11 studies found SFA to have a neutral impact on CVD, and 8 studies found SFA to have a positive impact on CVD. Of the positive quality reviews, 3 reviews found SFA to have a negative impact on CVD, 5 reviews found SFA to have a neutral impact on CVD, and 1 review found SFA to have a positive impact on CVD.
Conclusion: Existing, current evidence supporting a reduction in SFA to treat/prevent CVD is limited and flawed. Future studies examining the impact of SFA along with adequate n-3 PUFA and fiber are needed. RDNs must educate consumers on the role of SFA as part of a whole-food emphasis, especially regarding SFA in cooking as a means to reduce ROS.