11 Feb 2015

Fonterra calls for review of fat guidelines

1:14 pm on 11 February 2015

Fonterra is calling for guidelines on the consumption of fat to be reviewed, following research in Britain suggesting guidelines there should never have been introduced.

Dietary advice since the late 1970s has been that people should limit the amount of fat they eat, to cut the risk of heart disease and death.

But researchers, writing in the online journal, Open Heart, said the recommendations were not backed up by scientific evidence.

The World Health Organisation and the Ministry of Health recommend people have no more than 35 percent of their calories from fat.

However Fonterra's chief technology officer Jeremy Hill said that needed to be re-evaluated.

"We need to ensure that any dietary guidelines do not influence the population such as that they make choices away from highly nutritious foods without substantial evidence to back up such guidelines."

Mr Hill said there was mounting evidence supporting a balanced quantity of fat in a healthy diet.

US panel drops warning against cholesterol

Meanwhile, the United States government's advisory panel on dietary guidelines has dropped its caution against eating cholesterol-laden food.

It is reported the committee has decided it no longer deemed cholesterol a "nutrient of concern."

Many dieticians now believe cholesterol intake may not increase the risk of heart disease in healthy adults.

At the same time, British scientists said decades of advice for people to cut down on saturated fat was based on shaky evidence.

The scientists said the guidelines were not backed by evidence and should never have been introduced.

However, many experts are defending the advice.

Recent studies had supported the case saturated fat is bad for the heart, they said.

- Reuters

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