Are fatty foods really that bad for you? New research says no

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Dr. Sapna Parikh reports (WABC)

It's often the bad word in food: fat.

But new science shows it may not be hurting your health.

For decades you've been told to cut fat from your diet. Yet the number of people with heart disease keeps going up.

"If you're gonna have fat have something healthy like an avocado, good fat," said New Yorker Vicky Devany.

But now there's a new push to bring back the saturated fat, with the latest headline of Time Magazine telling us to "eat butter".

As the author of the book, "The Big Fat Surprise", investigative journalist Nina Teicholz makes the controversial claim that more fat, including saturated fat, leads to better health.

"I researched this subject of fat and saturated fat for almost a decade," said Teicholz.

She says the studies linking saturated fat to heart disease are not conclusive.

"We should not be avoiding these whole foods with whole fats. Meat, cheese, dairy, eggs, butter are great, nutritiously dense foods," said Teicholz.

But telling people to eat more saturated fat has no doubt sparked a debate.

"I think the take home message here is not to go out and start slathering butter all over everything," said Dr. Christopher Ochner of Mount Sinai Hospital.

As an obesity expert, Dr. Ochner argues it's soon to say that saturated fat is not to blame for heart disease.

"The two recent studies that failed to find that association had some questions, in terms of their validity and some errors in the methodology," said Ochner.

The one thing we do know is just because something says it's fat-free or low-fat does not mean it's better. Often the fat is replaced with sugar, trading one potential problem for another.

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