Is the idea that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for you a myth?

13 December 2016



Hi naked scientists

I seem to be reading more and more about the idea that saturated fats and cholesterol are bad for us is not based on good scientific evidence.

Could the team look into the latest research on the above and what the scientific data and latest physiological understanding is actually telling us and report in a show?

I really think there is an important health issue here that needs investigation.



We asked Giles Yeo about whether saturated fats really are so bad for us... Giles - You know what - it depends on who you are. If your genetics allows you, and there are some people out there who are lucky enough to be able to eat as many eggs as they want, as much cholesterol as they want and actually have no damage to them at all, then it is no harm to you at all.

Saturated fats, depending once again your genetics. Having too much of it will always make you fat, but if susceptible to damage from it, for cardiovascular reasons and other reasons, then it is going to be bad for you.

This is against a background of people saying, well fat is actually great for you now you should be giving up sugar. At some point, fat was very bad for you, sugar's good for you. You've got to eat enough of everything.

Chris - I think one other point to bear in mind that was an epiphany to me is that actually your body makes cholesterol in it's own cells. It needs it because it's very important for the integrity of the membranes in our cells. If you don't actually eat cholesterol, you will just make more in your cells and, therefore, cutting out cholesterol isn't going to make any difference really to your health. It's the saturated fat that then affects how much cholesterol and other lipids are in your bloodstream because you absorb the fat and then distribute it round your body in your bloodstream.

Giles - Exactly. So it's going to be down to your biology and how you actually handle that. If you're able to sustain that kind of diet then you're going to be fine, if not then you're not going to be fine.


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