Guidelines that told millions of people to avoid butter and full-fat milk should never have been introduced, say experts. The startling assertion challenges advice that has been followed by the medical profession for 30 years. The experts say the advice from 1983, aimed at reducing deaths from heart disease, lacked any solid trial evidence to back it up.
The guidelines – the first of their kind – were introduced when as much as one-fifth of the average British diet was saturated fat such as butter, cream and fattier cuts of meat.
Britons were advised by an official dietary committee to cut their fat intake to 30 per cent of total energy and saturated fat intake to 10 per cent, while increasing the amount of carbohydrate they ate.
This led food makers to create low-fat spreads, including cholesterol-lowering products, while consumers shunned cheese, milk and cream.
However, now some scientists even say the advice is responsible – in part – for the obesity crisis because it encouraged an increase in carbohydrate in our diets.
A new review says evidence from trials did not support the advice. It says it is ‘incomprehensible’ that such advice was introduced for 56million Britons in 1983 and 220million Americans six years earlier ‘given the contrary results from a small number of unhealthy men’.