Low Fat Diet Myth Debunked; Sugar is the Real Heart Killer

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By Reissa Su | March 6, 2014 6:27 PM EST

The benefits of following a low-fat diet do not reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the claims of a leading scientist.  James DiNicolantonio, a cardiovascular research scientist based in New York, said the current dietary advice given by nutritionists was based on a "flawed" study from the 1950s.

Reuters
Pedestrians walk across the street near Times Square in New York in this August 28 2007 file photo.

Mr DiNicolantonio said the inaccurate evidence in the study had "demonised" saturated fat and only risked public health. He believes a public health campaign should be organised like the one launched in the 70s and 80s to tell people that doctors have been wrong about saturated fats.

In the Open Heart journal, he wrote that there is no conclusive evidence to prove that maintaining a low-fat diet had positive effects to health. Mr DiNicolantonio has found nothing in literature that refers to the significant benefits of reducing fat intake.

He declared that the popular fear of saturated fat increasing cholesterol has no basis. Health experts have long believed a low-fat diet can help prevent diabetes and obesity. Evidence in various studies has shown that a low-carbohydrate diet can improve cholesterol as opposed to a low-fat diet. Mr DiNicolantonio still believes people should avoid eating processed food.

British health experts had claimed in 2013 that the misinterpretation of scientific studies has led to the belief that a high-fat diet is bad for the heart. However, research has proven there is no link between saturated fats and the risk of heart disease.

Rejecting the myth of a low-fat diet, Sweden has become the first Western country to develop dietary guidelines of the high fat, low-carbohydrates diet.

Mr DiNicolantonio said that people are being driven to follow a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates in favour of fat to combat heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

However, not everyone agreed with Dr DiNicolantonio. Alison Tedstone, Nutrition and Diet director of Public Health England, said that reducing the consumption of saturated fat intake can lower blood cholesterol which in turn reduce the risk of heart disease.

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(Photo: Reuters / Lucas Jackson)
Pedestrians walk across the street near Times Square in New York in this August 28 2007 file photo.
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