Bring out the butter, skip the spreads

By 12. August 2015Blog, Health, Nutrition, Risk Management

It’s a story we have already spoken about but with more research backing up the original findings it is worth another mention.

Butter and other saturated fats are not as bad for us as once thought, especially when compared to one of the alternatives, trans fats. That was the gist of a paper published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) this week. The researchers have been trawling the literature and found over 20,000 publications on the matter of saturated and trans fats intake compared to mortality and the reasons for it that could have been eligible to be pooled together in their meta analysis. After an in depth check on the data they whittled it down to 73 publications that could be used.

They found that intake of saturated fat did not seem to be correlated with an increased chance of death or an increased chance of heart disease, stroke or type II diabetes. Intake of trans fats on the other hand, were associated with chance of death and heart disease.

In case you are desperately searching your grey matter for what trans fats are here is a little reminder. Trans fat is a type of unsaturated fat that has been altered (usually by an industrial process) to have a trans configuration instead of the much more common cis configuration. Don’t get too caught up on this, basically the transformation gives the fat more desirable qualities such as extended shelf life and decreased refrigeration requirements. They can also be used in place of animal fats as they are solid when they would normally be liquid.

So there you have it, don’t feel guilty about that knob of butter on your bread. There is already an effort under way to remove trans fats from our food but you may want to keep an eye on those ingredient labels.

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