A research review has found there is no evidence for limiting whole foods that are high in saturated fat, Bicycling reported on 23 June.

Published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the study concluded that limiting foods rich in dietary saturated fatty acids had no benefit for heart health or overall risk of death.

Although the study found that saturated fat did increase LDL cholesterol, generally, it was the large, ‘fluffy’ LDL particles that were not considered harmful, rather than the small, dense LDL particles that raised the risk of heart disease.

Rather than eliminating or limiting fat, researchers said a preferable health strategy should focus on eating whole foods.

Published ahead of new United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines to be published later this year, Bicycling said the report’s aim was to make the case for the removal of the long-standing ceiling on saturated fat intake.

Although the USDA officially removed the upper limit from total daily fat in 2016, the cap on saturated fats was retained. This recommended keeping saturated fats to no more than 10% of daily calories, a guideline that had been in place since 1980.

The group of scientists involved in the new research, which looked at decades of data on saturated fats and health, are now calling for that limit to be lifted.

As well as concluding that reducing foods rich in saturated fatty acids didn’t reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or death from any cause, some research suggested a higher consumption of saturated fat lowered the risk of stroke.