True or False? Less Saturated Fat Equals Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Heart Disease RiskIt’s challenging to create healthy meals when advice on proper diets seems to change from one moment to the next. We’d been informed that saturated fats that are found in foods such as red meat, butter and fried food were bad for our health, but later research advised there wasn’t enough proof that individuals who gave up these foods lowered their risk of heart disease – and for that reason, we were given the thumbs up to choose butter over margarine once more.

Nonetheless, as described in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers now note that the lack of wonderful results when lowering saturated fats is probably related to equally bad 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, a researcher from the 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 research, led by Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, was quite thorough, following the results of approximately 130,000 men and women over a period of thirty years. Monitoring dietary choices and any heart-related conditions, it was established that people who chose carbohydrates instead of the saturated fats ended up with a practically equal risk of heart disease – which was overlooked in earlier studies that had established there was no real benefit to cutting back on saturated fats.

So what is the takeaway from this study? Improving our heart health can best be achieved by not just reducing saturated fat in our diet, but by also selecting healthier foods than processed flour-based products and those with a high sugar content.

Midnight Sun Home Care’s Anchorage senior care team is also ready to plan and prepare heart-healthy meals that are not only nutritious, but delicious, helping seniors in our community reduce their risk for heart attacks and disease. We can also help make certain that older adults are:

  • Making smart dietary choices, and we can help with buying groceries so that fresh, healthy foods are always 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 (907) 677-7890 to learn more.

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