March 18/Boston/Harvard University -- A report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that reducing saturated fat intake does not result in improved heart health. Researchers reviewed about 50 observational studies and 27 randomized trials on the risk of heart disease. The data included over 600,000 subjects in Asia, North America and Europe, evaluating their diets in the process.

The study's lead author, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, explained that, even though the focus on saturated fat reduction dates back to 1970s, it has not been proven that saturated fat itself may increase the risk of heart disease.

Mozaffarian, with the department of epidemiology at Harvard University in Boston, further noted that it is time to move to food-based guidelines and not nutrients, as he believes it does not make sense to focus on nutrients, single nutrients and more for preventing chronic diseases.