Healthy Heart Reports
How Saturated Fats Cause Heart Attacks
Saturated fats, found in meat, diary products and eggs, increase risk for heart attacks, but only if you
take in more calories than you need.
If you reduce your intake of calories by one third and eat nothing but fatty meats and diary products,
your cholesterol will go down. If you restrict saturated fats in meat and increase your intake of calories
markedly, your triglycerides and insulin levels will go up, your good HDL cholesterol will go down and
you will increase your risk for a heart attack. Saturated fats are broken down in your liver to acetone
units. If you take in more calories than you need, the acetone units are used as building blocks to make
cholesterol and your blood cholesterol level rises. On the other hand, if you are not taking in extra
calories, the acetone units are burned for energy and do not raise cholesterol. Eating large amounts of
saturated fats can also increase your heart attack risk by increasing clotting, raising blood pressure and
constricting arteries. Current recommendations are to avoid overeating and gaining weight first. Second
is to eat less fat, particularly saturated fat.
1) P Nestel. Saturated and trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease. European Heart Journal Supplements, 1999, Vol 1,
Iss S, pp S19-S23. Address Nestel P, Baker Med Res Inst, POB 6492, St Kilda Rd Cent, Melbourne, Vic 8000,
2) A Bonanome. Factors affecting LDL cholesterol reduction: unsaturated fatty acids. European Heart Journal
Supplements, 1999, Vol 1, Iss S, pp S24-S28. Address Bonanome A, Univ Padua, Osped Castelfranco Veneto, Dept
Internal Med, Via Osped 18, I-31033 Castelfranco Veneto, ITALY
Copyright 2003 www.DrMirkin.com
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.
For more recipes, refer to the The Healthy Heart Miracle book.