5 Fishy Food Claims

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According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by lipid scientist Ronald Krauss, M.D., and his colleagues, "there is insufficient evidence from prospective epidemiologic studies to conclude that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD [coronary heart disease], stroke, or CVD [cardiovascular disease]." To find out more about how no one has ever proved a link between saturated fat and clogged arteries, read What if Bad Fat is Actually Good for You?

Ironic, isn't it? If nutritionism hadn't wrongly targeted saturated fats as nutritional enemies, we wouldn't be trying to avoid so many dangerous trans fats today.

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More from Men's Health:

5 Secrets Food Marketers Don't Want You to Know

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What if Bad Fat Is Actually Good for You?

Claim #5: Superspreads Save Lives

Food manufacturers have now engineered a newer crop of "spreads" that are free of trans fats. With names like Benecol, Promise activ, and Smart Balance HeartRight, these products seem to promise enduring health with a simple swipe of the knife across your morning multigrain waffle.

But though their labels claim that the omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols they contain may help lower cholesterol and promote heart health, the science is far from clear. In fact, consuming margarine enriched with omega-3s doesn't prevent heart attacks. A recent New England Journal of Medicine study of 4,800 heart attack survivors found no difference in the numbers of subsequent heart attacks among those who ate spreads laden with omega-3s and those who did not. And an opinion paper in the European Heart Journal argued that while plant sterols can indeed reduce LDL cholesterol, there's no evidence that they reduce the risk of heart disease. What's more, some researchers believe that plant sterols can raise that risk. So much for that miraculous heart-healthy spread.

Always question the hype—and the claims on food labels. Generally speaking, the fewer health buzzwords your food comes with, the better it probably is for you.

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More from Men's Health:

5 Secrets Food Marketers Don't Want You to Know

The Truth About Sugar

The Best Snack on Earth

What if Bad Fat Is Actually Good for You?

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