A renowned heart surgeon has urged that a ban be placed on the use of butter to prevent the loss of thousands of lives.
Shyam Kolvekar, who works at the Heart Hospital, a part of University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, pointed out that abandoning the consumption of butter and other foods high in saturated fat could save at least 3,500 lives a year.
"In reality people don't stick to complicated diets. By banning butter and replacing it with a healthy spread the average daily sat fat intake would be reduced by 8g - that's 40 percent of a women's GDA (Guideline Daily Amount)," the Independent quoted him as saying.
"This would save thousands of lives each year and help to protect them from cardiovascular disease - the UK's biggest killer," he added.
The expert further explained: "By the time I see people it's usually too late, but the frustrating thing is that often the need for heart surgery could have been prevented by following a healthier, lower sat fat diet. Simple food swaps can make a big difference."
Nutritionist Jacqui Morrell also said it was "very easy" for the average person to have too much saturated fat.
She said: "For example, two slices of buttered toast and a full fat latte contains 16.1g of saturated fat, so that's already 80 percent of the GDA for a woman at breakfast. However, just by swapping butter for a low fat spread and using 1 percent milk you make a 92 percent reduction."