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Articles August 2010 Issue

Reducing Saturated Fat? Watch What Carbs You Substitute

“Are refined carbohydrates worse than saturated fat?” That’s the provocative headline of a recent American Journal of Clinical Nutrition editorial commenting on a large new Danish study of diet and heart-attack risk. Author Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD, of the Harvard School of Public Health, explains how, for decades, “the diet-heart paradigm” that’s been the driving force behind dietary recommendations has emphasized the heart-health dangers of saturated fat and cholesterol. That’s led to a decrease in Americans’ total and saturated fat intake, while carbohydrate consumption went up. “Until recently,” Dr. Hu adds, “the role of carbohydrates in cardiovascular disease has received scant attention.”

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