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GoodGuide ratings concerning "saturated fat" dangers may not be scientifically accurate

Your low ‘health’ rating of Turkey Hill Black Raspberry Ice Cream includes the following:

“This product has a high level of saturated fat, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.”

Presumably you include this advice in the case of most, if not all, products that contain saturated fat.

I am neither an advocate of saturated fat or of Turkey Hill ice cream. However, in the interest of scientific accuracy, you should note that the association you refer to (saturated fat = increased risk of heart disease) has recently become controversial. For example, the following is taken from Andrew Weil’s website:

"[M]y thinking on saturated fat has evolved. One catalyst was a scientific analysis of 21 earlier studies, which showed "no significant evidence" that saturated fat in the diet is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

The 21 studies analyzed included nearly 348,000 participants, most of whom were healthy when they were enrolled. They were followed for five to 23 years, during which 11,000 developed heart disease or had a stroke. Looking back at the dietary information collected from these thousands of participants, the investigators found no difference in the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, or coronary vascular disease between those individuals with the lowest and highest intakes of saturated fat.

This goes completely against the conventional medical wisdom of the past 40 years. It now appears that many studies used to support the low-fat recommendation had serious flaws."

“Rethinking Saturated Fat” (May 6, 2011) . . .
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  • Thanks for your perspective. You are correct that there is a significant amount of debate in the scientific and diet communities about the long-standing recommendations of many heart-health and governmental organizations to reduce saturated fat intake. Our rating system gives alot of weight to the consensus of opinion of scientific and regulatory agencies, which is why we penalize products that contain high amounts of saturated fat.

    For a pretty comprehensive review of who stands where on this debate and their supporting evidence, see
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  • I've been following the saturated fat controversy for more than three decades and have never found evidence that there is evidence that saturated fats constitute a health hazard if they are consumed in the context of healthy supportive nutrition. Never-the-less, the anti-saturated fat ideology continues to garner support from virtually every major health organization. Why? Because the food manufacturing and edible oils industries continue to promote seed oils as a "healthy" replacement for saturated fats.
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