Science myths has led public down the 'wrong dietary road'

Guidelines that told millions of people to avoid eating 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 saying it lacked any solid trial evidence.

People were advised to cut their fat intake to 30 percent of total energy and saturated fat intake to 10 percent, while increasing the carbohydrates they ate. This led food makers to create low-fat spreads, while consumers shunned cheese, milk and cream.

Now scientists say the advice is responsible – in part – for the obesity crisis because it encouraged an increase in carbohydrates in our diets…

Professor Iain Broom, of Robert Gordan University in Aberdeen, said there was now mounting evidence against the introduction of low-fat diets to combat heart disease.

“Yet governments in both the US and UK have practically destroyed the dairy industry by suggesting that butter, cheese and full-fat milk increased cardiovascular disease risk, when the contrary is true,” he said.

He also said advice to increase carbohydrate consumption to 50 percent of energy intake was blamed by some experts for an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Last year a US research scientist called for a campaign telling people they had been taken down the “wrong dietary road for decades” in avoiding saturated fat while not being warned about eating too much carbohydrate and sugar.

It is not the first time experts have blamed faulty interpretation of studies for creating a myth. Researchers last year conducted a meta-analysis of data from 72 studies involving more than 600,000 participants from 18 countries.

A key finding was that total saturated fat, whether measured in the diet or the bloodstream, showed no association with heart disease.

From: Saturday Star, 14 February 2015