saturated fat
Leading doctors and scientists said popular 'low fat' and 'proven to lower cholesterol' messages have had a disastrous impact on public health.

The National Obesity Forum said it was time to 'bring back the fat' with 'real food', like steak, eggs, butter and full-fat milk.

They were essential for maintaining health and preventing diseases which cost the NHS tens of billions of pounds to treat.

The bombshell report is the first to unite dozens of pieces of research that shatter the myth that 'low fat' is good. The report's authors also called for an urgent overhaul of dietary advice.

But they have angered the health establishment which has called them 'irresponsible' despite the report having the support of an international coalition of doctors, dieticians, nutritionists, sports scientists and activists.

Professor David Haslam, chairman of the forum, said: "Guidelines from on high suggesting high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets were the universal panacea are deeply flawed.

"My patients don't lose weight or improve their health by cutting fats or calories.

"The proof being that obesity levels are higher than they have ever been and show no chance of reducing.

"A new approach is needed - a return to 18th century values, drawn up before modern interference with basic principles occurred."

The report, produced in association with Public Health Collaboration, says poor dietary advice has been given for too long because of vested interests and flawed science.

Comment: Ancel Keys promoted this flawed science in his infamous Seven Countries study and as a result the population's health took a nose dive.

Researchers say decades-old, state-sponsored public health messages are responsible for creating the UK's obesity and Type 2 diabetes catastrophes.

Saturated fat, they add, does not cause heart disease and we should stop counting calories if we want to lose weight. It even claims the establishment 'colluded with industry for financial gain'.

The report says: "The most natural and nutritious foods available - meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, olive, avocados - all contain saturated fat.

"The continued demonisation of omnipresent natural fat drives people away from highly nourishing wholesome and health promoting foods."

A survey revealing 83 per cent of doctors thought butter was worse than margarine and 66 per cent believed vegetable oils were beneficial was 'shocking'.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said: "The change in dietary advice to promote low-fat foods is perhaps the biggest mistake in modern medical history resulting in devastating consequences for public health. Sadly this unhelpful advice continues to be perpetuated."

The report cites the work of pioneering family GP Dr David Unwin who put patients on a low-carb, high-fat diet, saving the NHS £45,000 a year in medication.

Professor Robert Lustig, president of the Institute of Responsible Nutrition, said: "Einstein's theory of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."

Dr Alison Tedstone, of Public Health England, said: "In the face of all the evidence, calling for people to eat more fat, cut out carbs and ignore calories is irresponsible.

"Our independent experts review all the available evidence, run full-scale consultations and go to great lengths to ensure no bias.

"International health organisations agree too much saturated fat raises cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease and obesity is caused by too many calories."

Professor John Wass, the Royal College of Physicians' special adviser on obesity, agreed with Dr Testone, adding said there was 'good evidence that saturated fat increases cholesterol'.

Comment: Wrong. Saturated fat does not increase cholesterol.
Although a staggering amount of money has been spent on research to conclusively prove the link between saturated fat, cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), there exists a massive volume of scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed journals that completely absolves dietary cholesterol, saturated fat and elevated blood cholesterol of any harmful role in CHD.

Despite the fact that this research, contradicting the orthodox hypothesis, has been published in prestigious journals for decades, and despite the complete failure of the massive low-fat, anti-cholesterol campaign to lower the overall incidence of CHD, the cholesterol/saturated fat theory of CHD enjoys almost unanimous acceptance among health authorities. And yet the amount of cholesterol formed by the liver is controlled according to the needs of the body. If dietary cholesterol is increased, a healthy liver responds by making less cholesterol. However, if the cholesterol in the diet is decreased, the liver makes more. In this way the body regulates how much cholesterol is produced for its needs.

He said: "What is needed is a balanced diet, regular physical activity and a normal healthy weight. To quote selective studies risks misleading the public."

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the BHF, said there is not enough evidence in the report to take the findings seriously.

He said: "This country's obesity epidemic is not caused by poor dietary guidelines; it is that we are not meeting them.

"Diets that are high in saturated fat have been shown to increase cholesterol. High cholesterol is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease hence why current recommendations emphasise the importance of reducing this.

"Heart disease is a multifactorial condition with a range of risk factors and any dietary and lifestyle advice worth noting should consider the overall impact that our diet and lifestyle has on our health.

"Focusing on single foods, nutrients or risk factors is short sighted and will perpetuate confusion and fear amongst the public about what they should and shouldn't eat to protect their heart health."