Is Butter Really Back?
Article by The Drummond Team
Can you believe that a group of scientists are challenging everything we know about cholesterol, saying we should eat fat and stop taking statins?! This is not just bad science – it will cost lives, say experts.
“Butter is back. Saturated fat is good for you. Cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease.” Claims like these keep finding their way into newspapers and mainstream websites – even though they contradict decades of medical advice. There is a battle going on for our hearts and minds.
According to a small group of dissident scientists, whose work usually first appears in minor medical journals, by far the greatest threat to our hearts and vascular systems comes from sugar, while saturated fat has been wrongly demonised. And because cholesterol levels don’t matter, they argue, we don’t need the statins that millions have been prescribed to lower them. A high-fat diet is the secret to a healthy life, they say. Enjoy your butter and other animal fats. Cheese is great. Meat is back on the menu.
This is more than bad science, according to leading scientists and medical authorities. It will cost lives. “Encouraging people to eat more saturated fat is dangerous and irresponsible,” is a typical verdict, in this case from Prof Louis Levy, the head of nutrition science at Public Health England (PHE). “There is good evidence that a high intake of saturated fat increases your risk of heart disease. We need to think about where the sources of saturated fat are and how we can reduce them. The largest contributions are dairy products, including butter, and meat and meat products.”
The advice from PHE, the World Health Organization, the British Heart Foundation (BHF), Heart UK and other institutions and top academics is consistent. Butter and cheese may be fine in modest amounts in a balanced diet, but the saturated fat that they contain is potentially risky. Too much of it causes the liver to overproduce “bad” LDL cholesterol, which is implicated in heart disease.
The dissidents’ arguments are attractively simple. Eat fat, avoid carbs and don’t take the tablets. But I’m sure we would probably all agree that we should ditch junk food and eat well instead of taking pills. But, realistically, telling people to “eat good food” isn’t going to cut it. The majority of people in the UK and the US are now overweight or obese, with all the heart and vascular problems that brings, and the trend is ever upwards. One thing is for sure – the dissidents are not going to shut up shop.
Source: the guardian.com
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