Saturated fat intake is stable
Food and nutrition policies have changed the food supply. In the UK, energy intakes of fat and saturated fatty acids respectively fell from 42% and 20% in the early 1970s to 35% and 12% by 2000, where they have remained since. Between 1987 and 2000, average blood cholesterol levels fell from 5.7mmol/L to 5.2mmol/L. Despite the continuing rise in obesity and diabetes, death from cardiovascular disease fell from 141 to 63/100,000 of the population between 1994-97 and 2009-11, owing mainly to better treatment and improvements in control of risk factors such as blood pressure, smoking and cholesterol.
Not all saturated fat is bad
Not all saturated fats increase blood cholesterol. The cholesterol raising effects are confined to lauric, myristic and palmitic acids (the latter is found in palm oil). These raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in decreasing order of potency compared to carbohydrates (including all types of starches and sugars) or unsaturated fatty acids. It is generally more effective to lower cholesterol by replacing saturated fatty acids with oils rich in monounsaturated (olive, rapeseed) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (soybean, sunflower oil) than lowering carbohydrates. For example, replacing butter or lard with olive oil as your main source of fat can lower LDL-C by about 10%
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