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What is the effect of saturated fat (SFA) intake on increased risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes, including effects on intermediate markers such as serum lipid and lipoprotein levels? (DGAC 2010)

Conclusion

Strong evidence indicates that dietary saturated fatty acid (SFA) are positively associated with intermediate markers and end-point health outcomes for two distinct metabolic pathways: 1) increased serum total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 2) increased markers of insulin resistance and increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Conversely, decreased SFA intake improves measures of both cardiovascular disease and T2D risk. The evidence shows that a five percent energy decrease in SFA, replaced by monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA), decreases risk of CVD and T2D in healthy adult and improves insulin responsiveness in insulin resistant and T2D subjects.

 

Grade

Strong
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Evidence Summaries

What is the evidence that supports this conclusion? For more information, click on the Evidence Summary link below.
 
What is the effect of saturated fat intake on increased risk of cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes?

Research Recommendations

Determine the benefits and risks of MUFA vs. PUFA as an isocaloric substitute for SFA.

Confirm the metabolic pathways through which dietary SFA affect serum lipids, especially as some SFA (e.g., stearic acid) do not appear to affect blood lipid levels.

Search Plan and Results

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Saturated fat and lipid levels