Back in 60s and 70s, many prominent scientists believed that saturated fat was the main cause of heart disease, by raising the "bad" cholesterol in the blood. This idea was the cornerstone of the low-fat diet. Because of a few bad studies and misguided political decisions, this diet was recommended to all Americans in the year 1977.
However, there wasn't a single study on this diet at the time. The American public became participants in the largest uncontrolled experiment in history. This experiment didn't turn out very well and we are still suffering the consequences..
The "war on saturated fat" has been a miserable failure. It was initially based on flawed studies, but somehow became public policy (with disastrous consequences). The worst part is... the governments and health organizations have yet to change their position despite overwhelming evidence that they've been wrong all along. Actually, saturated fat doesn't really raise LDL that much. The effect is weak and inconsistent and appears to depend on the individual . When saturated fat does affect LDL, it changes the particles from small, dense (very, very bad) to Large LDL, which is mostly benign . Saturated fat also raises HDL cholesterol, which is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease . If anything, saturated fats actually improve the lipid profile, NOT the other way around. In the past few years, many massive studies have examined the link between saturated fat and heart disease risk.