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19th World Congress on Heart Disease



Jawahar L. Mehta, M.D., Ph.D., University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA


Dietary saturated fat intake has long been blamed for causing coronary artery disease based on scant epidemiological data. However, little evidence supports the notion that reducing saturated fat intake would reduce coronary artery disease. In fact, growing research suggests that our obsession with reducing saturated fat intake has led to increased consumption of refined carbohydrates which has in turn led to an explosion of obesity and related illnesses. In this presentation, we explore the historical, epidemiological and randomized trial data linking saturated fat intake and coronary artery disease. We propose that modifying a single dietary ingredient would be unlikely to reduce the risk of CAD. Moreover, the undue focus on saturated fats has diverted our attention from the importance of overall quality of diet and a healthy lifestyle in promoting cardiovascular health. Our proposed concept of “lifestyle synergy” describes the influence of various factors (of which diet is one component) on the risk of cardiovascular disease. Our expensive and widespread efforts to curb saturated fat intake are misguided and should be abandoned in favor of promoting improving overall quality of diet and lifestyle.



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