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A Reprieve For Saturated Fat? The New Healthy Diet

Saturated fats. For decades, they’ve been taboo. Now new research is raising questions with them. A big look, with Mark Bittman and more.

This photo taken Sunday May 17, 2009 shows a Blue Cheeseburger with Fried Pickled Onions. A new study suggests that saturated fats are not as harmful as they were once considered to be. (AP)

This photo taken Sunday May 17, 2009 shows a Blue Cheeseburger with Fried Pickled Onions. A new study suggests that saturated fats are not as harmful as they were once considered to be. (AP)

For years we were told “cut the fat, cut the fat.”  Especially the saturated fat.  “Fat free” was the label that sold.  Now comes a big new study with a more nuanced message.  A little butter won’t kill you.  Saturated fat is not the dietary third rail for heart disease.  Don’t roll in it.  Don’t go crazy.  Pay attention to your whole diet, with lots of plants in there.  Stay clear of trans-fats.  Watch out for sugar and processed food.  But the new meta-study found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart disease.  This hour On Point:  we’re taking on board the latest findings on fat.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, professor of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Co-director of the program in Cardiovascular Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. Co-author of the new study in Annals of Internal Medicine that calls into question many concerns about saturated fats.

Dr. Stephanie Coulter, cardiologist and director of the Texas Heart Institute’s Center for Women’s Heart and Vascular Health.

Mark Bittman, food columnist for the New York Times. (@bittman)

Dr. David Katz, founding director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. (DrDavidKatz)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Butter is Back – “Butter is back, and when you’re looking for a few chunks of pork for a stew, you can resume searching for the best pieces — the ones with the most fat. Eventually, your friends will stop glaring at you as if you’re trying to kill them.”

The Economist: Fat chance –“Other common beliefs, however, were not supported. They found no evidence that eating saturated fats or having high levels of circulating saturated fatty acids (the digested products of such fats) had any effect on cardiac disease. Nor did they find that omega-3 fatty acids, the current poster-boys of healthy eating, protect against heart disease.”

NPR: Why We Got Fatter During The Fat-Free Food Boom — “By the early ’90s, foods with little or no fat were flying off the shelves. Pretzels were good (no fat); nuts were bad (loaded with fat). Baked potatoes were OK, but hold the sour cream. And salads? Sure, greens are great, but no oily salad dressing.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

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Dec 17, 2014
Germany's Andre Schuerrle, left, celebrates scoring his side's 6th goal as Brazil's goalkeeper Julio Cesar reacts during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between Brazil and Germany at the Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Tuesday, July 8, 2014.  Germany went on to win the World Cup championship later that month. (AP)

From the Sochi Olympics and Ray Rice to Lebron’s return to Cleveland, we’ll unpack a big year in sports.

 
Dec 17, 2014
Relatives of a victim of a Taliban attack in a school, mourn over her lifeless body at a hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military-run school in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing and wounding scores, officials said, in the highest-profile militant attack to hit the troubled region in months. (AP)

The Taliban take responsibility for killing more than 100 Pakistani schoolchildren. We ask why there, why now.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Quinn Sullivan, LIVE In Our Studio
Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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