Saturated fat has long been known to contain low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad" cholesterol) and it should be avoided as much as possible, but polyunsaturated fats were never really regarded as being a healthy substitute. This line of thinking has changed quite recently, with the journal PLoS Medicine releasing a study last month which stated that saturated fats should be replaced by polyunsaturated fats for better health.Dr. Danish Mozaffarian the co-director of the Program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in Boston, says that saturated fat is not so bad for a healthy heart that it can be replaced with just anything. Replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats is the best way to ensure a heart healthy diet. These 'good' fats can be found in nuts, fish, and vegetable oils, and can lower your risk of heart disease significantly.Dr. Mozaffarian and his colleagues conducted several clinical trials to see how beneficial it was to replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats. The results showed that eating more polyunsaturated fat calories clearly reduced the chances of getting a heart attack, and the longer someone stayed on this diet, the better their heart health would be.
For too long, medical wisdom has stated that Americans should take in no more than 10% of their calories from polyunsaturated fat. Dr. Ronald Krauss of the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, in Oakland, Calif. agreed with Dr. Mozaffarian's belief that the recommended limits on polyunsaturated fat intake should be revised. "We should be thinking much more seriously about finding ways of increasing our intake of polyunsaturated fat," said Dr. Krauss.
Dr. Krauss tells Americans not to consider polyunsaturated fats in the same bracket as saturated fats, or to believe that because saturated fats dont cause heart disease that it is okay to consume them. He says that saturated fats have no place in a healthy diet, and to replace them with the far healthier polyunsaturated fats.