Real heart risks found in fake fat=20
By Richard A. Knox, Globe Staff, 11/20/97=20
Challenging two decades of advice about healthy diets, a 14-year study
80,000 nurses concludes that the key to reducing your heart attack
is not so much the total fat you eat as the type of fat.=20
An excess of ''bad'' fats is a crucial factor in an individual's
overall risk of
heart attack and cardiac death, the new findings suggest, perhaps even
potent than smoking and high blood pressure.=20
Trans-unsaturated fat, as the man-made stuff is called, is several
potent as a heart-disease risk factor than the saturated fats the
been warned about for years - the kind in beef, butter, and cheese.=20
By halving their intake of transfats - from the current average of 4
2 percent of total calories - Americans could slash their risk of
and coronary deaths by 42 percent, the study suggests. And by
percent of the energy they now get from saturated fats with
they could reduce the risks by 53 percent.=20
The most striking finding is that the 80,000 nurses, who suffered a
total of 939
heart attacks and cardiac deaths over 14 years, did not suffer any
of coronary disease or heart deaths whether their diets contained 29
of calories from fat, 46 percent from fat, or anywhere in between.
currently consume about 35 percent of their calories as fat, and the
government and Heart Association have long preached to aim for no more
than 30 percent fat.=20
''The percentage of total fat in our diet probably doesn't make much
difference,'' Dr. Walter C. Willett of the Harvard School of Public
Brigham and Women's Hospital, a study author, said in an interview.
about time we discard that recommendation altogether and focus on what
really important, which is the type of fat.''
This story ran on page A01 of the Boston Globe on 11/20/97.=20
=A9 Copyright 1997 Globe Newspaper Company.