Symposium 2016

Making Sense of Dietary Patterns

Saturated Fat and Cardiovascular Disease: Then and Now

Symposium Presentation

In today’s world one can find studies, guidelines, and popular press articles both espousing the benefits of reduced saturated fat as a means of reducing cardiovascular disease, as well as advocating that saturated fat is unrelated to heart attack and stroke or in some cases even beneficial in preventing these diseases. 

It comes as no surprise that these strongly expressed opposing viewpoints create a sense of confusion. But what is the evidence? This presentation takes a step-by-step historical approach to review how the concept of reducing dietary fat became world-wide public policy, starting in the early 1900’s until today.

With an evidenced-based approach, the consumption of dietary fat and its relationship to cardiovascular disease is being reevaluated, as will specific dietary elements such as cholesterol, dairy saturated fat, butter, and eggs. Current food guidelines are reviewed, including the recent Heart and Stroke Foundation position statement on saturated fat which shifts away from an isolated macronutrient-restrictive approach towards a food-based paradigm.