Does Reducing Saturated Fat Decrease Heart Disease Risk? Shocking Answers.

Heart Disease Risk

It’s difficult to plan healthy meals to reduce heart disease risk when what is recommended as “healthy” seems to change from one month 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.”

The study, 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. The study tracked dietary choices and heart-related conditions, and it was noted that subjects who substituted carbohydrates for saturated fats were realizing a virtually equal risk of heart disease – something that was missed in other studies that determined it was not significantly beneficial to cut back on saturated fats.

So what can we learn from all of this? We may be better off by not only reducing saturated fat, but by choosing healthy replacements over processed flour-based products and those with a high sugar content.

CareWorks Health Services 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 make sure that seniors are:

  • Making good dietary choices, and can help with obtaining groceries so that healthy, fresh foods are always stocked
  • 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 (949) 859-4700 to learn more about how our Orange County home care services can improve your loved one’s health and quality of life.