Small changes to people’s diets that make them more healthy could prevent tens of thousands of deaths each year from heart disease and stroke, experts have claimed.
NICE said measures such as reducing salt and saturated fats could cut the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease - a “largely avoidable” condition. According to NICE, reducing the amount of salt and saturated fat in food could save some 40,000 lives each year.
NICE experts have now set out a document detailing the changes people can make. They want the food industry to reduce levels of salt and saturated fats in products in order to cut the “huge numbers of unnecessary deaths”.
They also want to see trans fats, which have been classified as toxic by the World Health Organisation and shown to increase the risk of heart disease, banned from food production altogether.
Professor Mike Kelly, public health director at NICE, said:
“This isn’t about telling individuals to choose salad instead of chips - it’s about making sure that the chips we all enjoy occasionally are as healthy as possible. That means making further reductions in the salt, trans fats and saturated fats in the food we eat every day.”
According to NICE, such changes could cut the “huge numbers of unnecessary deaths” from heart disease and stroke and save millions of pounds each year.
Nearly six million people in the UK are currently living with the disabling effects of cardiovascular disease, putting “substantial” strain on the NHS.
Some 40,000 people are killed by the condition each year.