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Banning butter could save thousands of lives, says heart surgeon


A London heart surgeon has said that banning butter could save thousands of lives every year after he reported seeing patients as young as 33 in need of heart bypass operations caused by poor diet.

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Shyam Kolvekar blamed high levels of saturated fat - found in foods such as butter, red meat and high-fat cheeses - for the high number of people in need of treatment for heart and cardiovascular disease. He added that a simple switch to low-fat, healthy butter spreads or a banning of butter altogether could save thousands of lives every year.

According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), approximately 90% of children, 88% of men and 83% of women in the UK eat too much saturated fat, consuming on average 20% too much per day, with the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) for women standing at 20g and 30g for men.

Mr Kolvekar, who works at the Heart Hospital in central London, said: “In reality people don’t stick to complicated diets. By banning butter and replacing it with a healthy spread the average daily saturated fat intake would be reduced by 8g - that’s 40% of a woman’s GDA.

“This would save thousands of lives each year and help to protect them from cardiovascular disease - the UK’s biggest killer.”


Readers' comments (5)

  • The good surgeon needs to realize that weight gain is simply a matter of calories taken in versus the amount of calories used! IF theose overweight people would exercise more than their TV remote they wouldnt be in such bad shape.

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  • Denise lockyer

    Have they forgotten that it takes 3,500 k/cals to produce 1 lb of fat? Patients do not take adequate exercise to incorporate an ever increasing 'poor diet'. Is it little wonder these people have developed an alarmingly high proportion of CVD. GP surgery HCA's would be better placed to advise in this field, but before PM's enlist in this 'idea' they should enrol them on a suitable course to maximise delivery and of course advertise it to the patients!

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  • Phil Dup

    Yawn yawn yawn - yet more nonsense from the 'ban this' and 'ban that' brigade. If we banned everything that has killed human beings we would have no cars, no sledges, no alcohol, no mountain climbing, no rugby, no trampolines ,no horseriding ,no pet dogs, no peanuts , no paracetamol etc etc etc - AND - no Doctors or Nurses. Stick to doing your surgery Doc Kolvekar and keep out of the health promotion arena (its already way too overcrowded as it is).

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  • Edward Hutchinson

    Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease

    I'm surprised that any doctor so out of touch with the latest science showing there is no evidence supporting the claim that saturated fat is linked to heart disease is allowed to continue in practice.

    If health professionals were aware of how the general public are laughing at their stupidity on this issue they may take some action to apply some common sense.

    Here are just a few examples. If health professionals don't take account of the current state of scientific evidence then they will be regarded with the same contempt as doctors.

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  • Edward Hutchinson

    That should have said BANKERS.

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