Why cutting back on the butter, cream and full fat yoghurts may have done more harm to heart health than good.
Experts say the belief that high-fat diets are bad for arteries is based on faulty interpretation of scientific studies and has led to millions being ‘over-medicated’ with statin drugs.
It is now time for to burst the bubble on this myth! Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra says almost four decades of advice to cut back on saturated fats found in cream, butter and fatty meat has ‘paradoxically increased our cardiovascular risks’.
A famous study in the 1970s concluded there was a link between heart disease and blood cholesterol, which correlated with the calories provided by saturated fat. ‘But correlation is not causation,’ said Dr Malhotra, interventional cardiology specialist registrar at Croydon University Hospital, London. Nevertheless, people were advised to reduce fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy and a fall in saturated fat intake to 10 per cent.
A landmark study conducted by The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has conducted a meta -analysis summarising the evidence related to the association of dietary fat with the risk of coronary heart disease in prospective epidemiologic studies. Results showed no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.
A link to the study can be found here: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract