What You Didn’t Know About Saturated Fat and Heart Health posted on: 02-14-2017

heart healthIt’s hard to make healthy dietary choices when recommendations seem to change from one week to the next. We’d been told that saturated fats from sources such as butter, red meat and fried food were detrimental, 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. Those who instead replaced saturated fats with healthier options, such as whole grains and polyunsaturated fats like olive oil, did lower their risk of heart disease 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.”

Research, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was incredibly in-depth, following nearly 130,000 participants of both genders over a period of 30 years. Tracking dietary choices and any heart-related conditions, it was determined that those who replaced saturated fats with carbohydrates were realizing a nearly equal risk of heart disease – a fact missed in previous studies that determined there was no benefit to cutting back on those saturated fats.

The takeaway for all of us from this study? Perhaps we’d be best served by not only reducing saturated fat, but by choosing healthy replacements over processed flour-based products and those with a high sugar content.

North River Home Care of Norwell, MA 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 help ensure that seniors are:

  • Making wise dietary choices, and helping by picking up groceries so fresh, healthy foods are always readily available
  • Taking medications exactly as prescribed
  • Engaging in physician-approved exercise programs
  • Safely transported and accompanied to medical appointments and other outings
  • And much more

Give us a call at (781) 659-1366 to learn more!