Anyone planning to sit down to roast beef or a cheeseboard this festive season can now do so with a clear conscience as new research has found that eating red meat as well as fatty foods including butter and cheese can actually be good for us.
Researchers found that a diet which was full of natural saturated fats and low in carbohydrates helped middle aged men who were overweight to slim down. The study also noted that blood pressure and glucose levels were reduced, which are linked to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
This latest study addds to a growing body of research which suggests that avoiding fatty food in favour of eating processed carbohydrates is damaging to health. Current national dietary advice is for people to avoid eating food with high levels of saturated fats, including cream, butter, eggs, cheese and red meat. The accepted wisdom is that they increase the risk of suffering from potentially fatal conditions.
Change dietary advice
Professor Sherif Sultan, who is a heart specialist working at the University of Ireland, said that and urgent overhaul of guidelines was vital. He said that people who were eating high carbohydrate diets should instead be eating high quality fatty foods.
Prof Sultan said changing dietary advice would help to prevent the growing epidemic of Type 2 diabetes and heart problems caused because of weight issues. People who agreed to take part in the study were given a diet of unprocessed fats from natural sources, including butter, cream, cheese and coconut oil. These did not include processed fats such as those found in margarine and vegetable oil.
Dr Simon Dankel, who is from the University of Bergen in Norway, which carried out the research, said that while there was a huge focus placed on avoiding high fat foods at all costs, the study challenged commonly held wisdom that saturated fats had a negative impact on weight and health.