Urging people to follow low fat diets and to lower their cholesterol is having “disastrous health consequences”, a health charity has warned.
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a “major overhaul” of current dietary guidelines.
They say the focus on low fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.
Instead, they call for a return to “whole foods” such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high fat healthy foods including avocados, arguing that “eating fat does not make you fat”.
The report, which has caused a huge backlash amongst the scientific community, also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full fat diary – including milk, yoghurt and cheese – can actually protect the heart.
Processed foods labelled “low fat”, “lite”, “low cholesterol” or “proven to lower cholesterol” should be avoided at all costs and people with Type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet.
The report also said sugar should be avoided, people should stop counting calories and the idea that exercise can help you “outrun a bad diet” is a myth. Instead, a diet low in refined carbohydrates but high in healthy fats is “an effective and safe approach for preventing weight gain and aiding weight loss”, and cuts the risk of heart disease.
Professor Iain Broom, from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, said: “The continuation of a food policy recommending high carbohydrate, low fat, low calorie intakes as ‘healthy eating’ is fatally flawed.”