Saturated Fat and Heart Diseases

Subject: Nutrition
Type: Informative Essay
Pages: 5
Word count: 1339
Topics: Disease, Food, Health, Medicine

In the United States, heart disease is the major cause of deaths. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, out of four Americans, one of them must succumb to heart disease annually. Therefore, a total of 610,000 individuals die from the disease while 725,000 individuals suffer from heart attacks. By 1950, from research, it was evident that high intake of cholesterol feeds led to increased rate of heart diseases. 

Over the years, scientists, health practitioners and other individuals in the health and medicine department have always encouraged reduced the intake of saturated fats primarily found in meats with fatty parts, cheese, butter and cream. The main reason behind the conclusion is that saturated fats were thought to increase cholesterol levels in the blood which in turn led to increased chances of heart diseases. The biggest question recently has been whether saturated fats are good or bad for all the individuals in the society. However, from present research performed by a team of scientists who looked into large amounts of data, no significant link was found between heart disease and the saturated fats. 

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Despite fats being stated as unhealthy, some of the unsaturated fats were encouraged and were believed to provide protection to blood vessels and the heart generally. From the latest studies, it is true that the guidelines regarding saturated fats are true. In looking for answers or evidence between the relationship between heart disease (included angina, coronary heart disease, and heart attack) and saturated fatty acids, the researchers performed seventy-two studies. No factual evidence was present to show that saturated fats had an effect on the heart nor did the evidence prove that Omega-6 and 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids protected the heart. According to the scientists, it is never a good idea to concentrate on a single source of food to protect one’s health. Focus should be put on a healthy diet and balanced diet which included a portion of fruits and vegetables. 

From the article published by the Annals of internal medicine, the leading author emphasized that individuals should focus less on the harmless saturated fats (“Saturated Fats And Heart Disease Link ‘Unproven’ – Health News – NHS Choices”). His statement was in relation to the evidence provided by the team. From the research, it is evident that there is no relation between heart diseases and intake of saturated fat as the rate of susceptibility was low for both patients with high and low intake of saturated fats (Bier, P. 1946). Besides, results from the research did not prove that individuals with high intake of unsaturated fats such as corn oil and olive oil had a lower risk of getting heart disease. 

For decades people have always been advised to limit their intake of fats especially saturated fats however, this should not be the case. The facts tend to be misleading because the more people reduce the rates of fat intake the more they increase refined carbohydrate intake. Examples of refined carbohydrate include bread, cold cereals and other refined staff. The refined carbohydrates have negative side effects concerning the cardiovascular health. In relations to the types of foods, individuals should ingest, the dietary guidelines should put more emphasis on the real foods instead of offering cutoffs and putting limits on some types of macronutrients or foods. 

Dangers of saturated fats and the advantages of some unsaturated fats as presented for years could not be clearly cited during the research. The production of the harmful LDL cholesterols which are small and dense are the key factors for heart diseases among very many individuals in United States of America presently. However, High- density lipoprotein cholesterol acts as limiting factor for its production. Ingestion of saturated fats leads to the production of the good cholesterol which is HDL which limits LDL production hence keeping the heart in check.  In summary, saturated fats are therefore not harmful as they reduce production of the small and dense LDL which is dangerous to the health of the heart. 

The small and the dense lipoprotein cholesterol are dangerous as they are easy to oxidise which in turn lead to inflammation and the narrowing of the arteries of the heart. Some of the factors that lead to the regulation of the LDL- cholesterol are the low level of HDL cholesterol and the triglycerides. As stated above, the low-density lipoproteins are regulated by the HDL cholesterol which makes saturated fats very safe as they limit production of the harmful, dense and small LDL. 

In fact, foods that are sugary and have too much amounts of carbohydrates lead to increased production of the small, dense and harmful lipoprotein cholesterol particles and not saturated fats (Kearns, Laura & Stanton, P. 1680). Due to the emphasis on reducing the intake of saturated fats, this has led to a shift. More people have increased the rate of carbohydrates and sugary foods especially the refined ones (“This Study Explains The Confusion Over Fat And Heart Disease”). As stated earlier, carbohydrates and sugary foods are drivers of low-density lipoprotein which leads to negative effects on the health of the heart. The cardiac events, therefore, have no relation to the intake of saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. 

The positive effects of the healthy unsaturated fats such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 could not be determined during the research as no evidence was presented (“Saturated Fats And Heart Disease Link ‘Unproven’ – Health News – NHS Choices”). A performance of a meta-analysis produced results of no association between the heart disease, bloodstream, and the dietary saturated fats. 

After the recent analysis and discovery concerning the saturated fats, health practitioners should offer effective advice to clients/ patients. Despite the efficiency used in some of the specified medication some of the recommendations to be offered to patients include staying active, to avoid smoking and ensuring one feeds on a healthy diet (“Saturated Fats And Heart Disease Link ‘Unproven’ – Health News – NHS Choices”). Regarding a healthy diet, individuals should ensure they put into consideration a balanced and healthy nutritional supplement such as a specified or healthy amount of salt, fats, and sugars with increased intake of vegetables and fruits.

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In conclusion, it evident that high intake of saturated fats do not have any effect on the health of the heart same to the stated healthy unsaturated fats such as Omega 3 and 6 as they do not prevent the risk of heart diseases. As stated more focus should be applied to refined sugars and carbohydrates and dietary regulations should be put as they are more responsible for bringing about harmful effects to the heart. Focusing on a specific type of foods such as the Mediterranean or vegetarian dietary patterns should not be the case because evidence presented shows no significant connection between reduction of heart diseases and the patterns. 

To truly help the heart, people should not prevent loading up saturated fats but pay keen attention to what they are replacing the diets with. Switching to carbohydrate dense foods, for example, those made by refined flour such as pasta and starches should not be the case. The sugary foods and the carbohydrate dense foods lead to the production of the small and dense low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which in turn causes narrowing of the heart’s arteries. The most effective way of keeping the heart healthy is to avoid smoking, staying active and eating a healthy and balanced diet. Saturated fats are therefore not harmful to the human health like the refined carbohydrates and the sugary foods.

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  1. “Heart Disease Facts & Statistics | Cdc.Gov”. 
  2. “Saturated Fats And Heart Disease Link ‘Unproven’ – Health News – NHS Choices”. 
  3. “This Study Explains The Confusion Over Fat And Heart Disease”. 
  4. Bier, Dennis M. “Saturated fats and cardiovascular disease: interpretations not as simple as they once were.” Critical reviews in food science and nutrition 56.12 (2016): 1943-1946.
  5. Kearns, Cristin E., Laura A. Schmidt, and Stanton A. Glantz. “Sugar industry and coronary heart disease research: a historical analysis of internal industry documents.” JAMA internal medicine 176.11 (2016): 1680-1685.
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