Fats: Controversy and Consensus

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.

Read or listen to NPR coverage: Rethinking Fat: The Case For Adding Some Into Your Diet

Learn more

Scientists Fix Errors in Controversial Paper About Saturated Fats (Science Insider)

Mediterranean diet linked with lower risk of heart disease among young U.S. workers (HSPH News)

A muffin makeover: Dispelling the low-fat-is-healthy myth (HSPH’s The Nutrition Source)

Fats and Cholesterol (HSPH’s The Nutrition Source)