The Role of Saturated Fat in Causing Heart Disease
During the last several decades, saturated fat has been widely regarded as the major risk factor in heart disease both in the United States and around the world. While several recent scholarly studies have suggested that the intake of saturated fat does not contribute to the risk of cardiovascular disease, the research shows that these studies have significant limitations, and saturated fat is still one of the primary causes of heart disease. The history of the encounter with saturated fat in the United States dates back to the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1980s, the Department of Agriculture and other government agencies issued guidelines which called for decreasing fat and cholesterol intake (Walsh, 30). The recent years have witnessed the emergence of arguments against viewing saturated fat as the main risk factor in heart disease. For example, Walsh (34) claims that the fight against saturated fat has been unsuccessful because fat intake is not as harmful for the health as, for example, refined carbohydrates intake.
At the same time, the research shows that Walsh’s arguments are not completely correct, and saturated fat is still a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease. According to Katan (2-5), the studies which prove the opposite point of view have significant methodological flaws and limitations, such as lack of controlling participants for socioeconomic status, harmful habits, and other factors which could shift their results. In another argument in favor of the danger saturated fats pose, Katz (n.p.) emphasizes that the “war against fat” has not brought significant results because it has not existed at all since Americans have not limited their saturated fat intake. The scientific evidence summarized by the American Health Association (n.p.) proves that limiting the consumption of saturated fat can help significantly improve health condition and decrease the level of “bad” cholesterol. Therefore, saturated fat remains a major contributor into the development of heart disease.
Katan, Martijn. "Fat under Fire: New Findings or Shaky Science?" Nutrition Action Healthletter, May 2014, pp. 2-7.
Katz, David. "Fat: Ending The War That Nobody Started". The Huffington Post, 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/diet-and-nutrition_b_5499847.html.
"Saturated Fats". American Heart Association, 2015, https://healthyforgood.heart.org/Eat-smart/Articles/Saturated-Fats.
Walsh, Bryan. "Don't Blame Fat". Time, June 23, 2014, pp. …