A study conducted in the 1970s linked heart disease with high blood cholesterol which is turn was correlated to the calories provided by saturated fats. However cardiologist Aseem Malhotra from the Croydon University Hospital, London, said that correlation should not be seen as causation and added that nearly four decades of giving advice on cutting down saturated fats has increased the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Malhotra said that recent studies have failed to show a link between risk of cardiovascular disease and high saturated fat intake and added that some studies have shown a low-fat diet to be worse than diets that had low carbohydrate intake. He said that while the food industry tried to replace saturated fats with added sugar, there is growing evidence that added sugar may be an 'independent risk factor' for metabolic syndrome which increases risk of diabetes.
"The greatest improvements in morbidity and mortality have been due not to personal responsibility but rather to public health. It is time to bust the myth of the role of saturated in heart disease and wind back the harms of dietary advice that has contributed to obesity", Dr Malhotra said.