Guidelines introduced in the 80s, which told people to ditch whole milk and butter, have now come under intense scrutiny from experts. In fact, they claim this advice should never have been given.
'Dietary advice not merely needs review -- it should not have been introduced'
According to new research, the claims that binning these products would lead to lower rates of heart disease had no solid evidence to back them up. They could also have done more harm than good, fuelling obesity by promoting carbohydrates as a by-product of demonising butter, cheese and cream.
"The present review concludes that dietary advice not merely needs review; it should not have been introduced," the study, published in the online BMJ journal Open Heart, reads.
To make the research fair, the scientists looked at data from trials that would have been available in the UK and US in the 80s. Six were found, regarding 2,467 men who had survived a heart attack or similar.
These trials took into account dietary fat, cholesterol and heart disease, but found no significant differences between participants on high- and low-fat diets and the rate of heart death.
Professor Iain Broom, of the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, has criticised the boycotting of the dairy industry in light of the new findings and blames advice to up carb intake to make up 50 per cent of the diet is the reason behind increasing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
"It is now time for the UK Government to grasp the nettle and stop an uncontrolled experiment, which has gone global and may have had bad outcomes in terms of the obesity explosion and creating a more unhealthy nation with the current idea of 'healthy eating,'" he said.
Zoe Harcombe, Institute of Clinical Exercise and Health Science, University of the West of Scotland, Hamilton, and Dr James DiNicolantonio, Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Kansas City, are behind the review.
However, the study has already been criticised, with many claiming heart deaths have fallen dramatically since the low-fat diet advice was given.
In 1983, Britain was advised to keep overall fat consumption at 30 per cent, only being upped to 35 per cent in 1991. Saturated fats remained capped at an advised 10 per cent.
As with most things, the key here is to make sure your diet is varied.
Rather than completely cutting out fats, incorporate healthy ones found in the likes of avocado into your meal. And don't compensate purely with carbs - make sure you're getting enough fibre, protein and vitamins too.
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