PhotoA new study that's getting a lot of attention finds that saturated fat, like that found in red meat and dairy products, may not kill you after all, although trans-fats may be just as deadly as expected.

What's not getting so much attention is that the researchers who conducted the study are warning that we shouldn't take it too seriously, since it relies mostly on the memory of the people who were studied, and memory is notoriously,unreliable.

,The study by scientists at McMaster University in Canada looked at all causes of death and tried to correlate them with the subjects' previously reported memories of their dietary habits.

It failed to find a link between deaths from heart disease, stroke and diabetes,and diets containing lots of eggs, chocolate, red meat and so forth.

Deadly trans-fats,

However, the study, published in the British Medical Journal, did find a link between death from heart disease and consumption of foods made with trans-fats once used in margarine, snacks and packaged baked goods.

The scientists found that the consumption of industrial trans-fats was associated with a 34 per cent increase in all causes of mortality, a 28 per cent increase in death from coronary heart disease and a 21 per cent increase in the risk of being diagnosed with heart disease.

The study seems to confirm the growing suspicion that maybe a reasonable helping of meat, butter and cheese may be OK now and then. But the lead researcher,,Russell de Souza, warns that we shouldn't get carried away.

“For years everyone has been advised to cut out fats. Trans-fats have no health benefits and pose a significant risk for heart disease, but the case for saturated fat is less clear,” Dr de Souza said.,“That said, we aren’t advocating an increase of the allowance for saturated fats in dietary guidelines, as we don’t see evidence that higher limits would be specifically beneficial to health,” he said.

“It would be foolish to interpret these findings to suggest that it is OK to eat lots of fatty meat, lashings of cream and oodles of butter,” Professor Sanders added.

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