Top heart doctor: Unprocessed fatty foods may actually be good for you
Four decades of medical wisdom may be wrong
Four decades of medical wisdom that cutting down on saturated fats reduces our risk of heart disease may be wrong, a top cardiologist has said. Fatty foods that have not been processed – such as butter, cheese, eggs and yoghurt – can even be good for the heart, and repeated advice that we should cut our fat intake may have actually increased risks of heart disease, said Dr Aseem Malhotra.
Writing in the British Medical Journal, he argues that saturated fats have been “demonised” since a major study in 1970 linked increased levels of heart disease with high cholesterol and high saturated fat intake.
The NHS currently recommends that the average man should eat no more than 30g of saturated fat a day and women no more than 20g. However, Dr Malhotra, a specialist at Croydon University Hospital, said that cutting sugar out of our diets should be a far greater priority.
He told The Independent: “From the analysis of the independent evidence that I have done, saturated fat from non-processed food is not harmful and probably beneficial. Butter, cheese, yoghurt and eggs are generally healthy and not detrimental. The food industry has profited from the low-fat mantra for decades because foods that are marketed as low-fat are often loaded with sugar. We are now learning that added sugar in food is driving the obesity epidemic and the rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
A recent study indicated that 75 per cent of acute heart attack patients have normal cholesterol concentrations, suggesting that cholesterol levels are not the real problem, Dr Malhotra argued.
He also pointed to figures suggesting the amount of fat consumed in the US has gone down in the past 30 years while obesity rates have risen.
Bad diet advice has also led to millions of patients being prescribed statins to control their blood pressure, he argues, when simply adopting a Mediterranean diet might be more effective.
However, Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Studies on the link between diet and disease frequently produce conflicting results because, unlike drug trials, it’s very difficult to undertake a properly controlled, randomised study. However, people with highest cholesterol levels are at highest risk of a heart attack.
Life & Style blogs
'Cheeky' Nando's under fire for apparently coming onto a customer on Twitter
MIT robots can now clear hurdles as they run
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
iPhone 'effective power' text: how to be safe from iOS bug that lets people crash your phone
Fifa 16: Some fans are more annoyed about women players than the corruption scandal
- 1 Saudi Arabia mosque bombing: Two volunteer security guards hailed as heroes for stopping Isis suicide bomber reaching worshippers
- 2 Maisie Williams has an excellent message for one confused fan
- 3 There is something wrong but very right about this Bible illustration
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Tampon tax scrapped in Canada after petition convinces conservative government
£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...
£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...