There is ongoing debate as to whether public health guidelines should advocate reducing SFA consumption as much as possible to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease (CVD). In considering both sides of this question, we identified a number of points of agreement, most notably that the overall dietary patterns in which SFAs are consumed are of greater significance for cardiometabolic and general health than SFA intake alone. Nevertheless, there remained significant disagreements, centered largely on the interpretation of evidence bearing on 4 major questions: 1) does reducing dietary SFAs lower the incidence of CVD, 2) is the LDL-cholesterol reduction with lower SFA intake predictive of reduced CVD risk, 3) do dietary SFAs affect factors other than LDL cholesterol that may impact CVD risk, and 4) is there a sufficient rationale for setting a target for maximally reducing dietary SFAs? Finally, we identified specific research needs for addressing knowledge gaps that have contributed to the controversies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Nutrition and Dietetics