"Our findings indicate that the overriding principle of a healthy diet is not the quantity of fat or carbohydrates, but the quality of the foods we eat," said PhD candidate Johnny Laupsa-Borge. Saturated fat has been thought to promote cardiovascular diseases by raising the "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood.
However, even with a higher fat intake in the Norwegian diet intervention (FATFUNC) study compared to most comparable studies, the researchers found no significant increase in LDL cholesterol. Rather, the "good" cholesterol increased only on the very-high-fat diet. "These results indicate that most healthy people probably tolerate a high intake of saturated fat well, as long as the fat quality is good and total energy intake is not too high. It may even be healthy," said Nygard.