Fats: Controversy and consensus

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Fats have been in the news recently following a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine questioning recommendations on limiting saturated fat intake, which was covered by many media outlets, including by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman in a column titled “Butter is Back.”

Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers Dariush Mozaffarian, a co-author of the paper, and Walter Willett favor putting an end to low-fat diets, but clarify that that is not a green light to indulge. They say that cutting saturated fats in favor of eating more carbohydrates does not benefit cardiovascular health. However, switching to the healthier fats found in foods such as fish and olive oil does have heart-healthy benefits.

Mozaffarian is associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Willett is Fredrick John Stare Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and Nutrition Department chair.

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