Writing in a respected journal, they maintained that inflammation is the chief threat to arteries and there is little evidence linking saturated fat consumption with heart disease, diabetes and premature death.
But the editorial, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, attracted scathing criticism for being “simplistic”, “muddled” and “misleading”.
The authors, led by Dr Aseem Malhotra, from Lister Hospital, Stevenage, wrote: “Despite popular belief among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong.”
Dr Malhotra and colleagues Professor Rita Redberg, from the University of California at San Francisco, and Pascal Meier from University Hospital Geneva in Switzerland and University College London, cited a “landmark” review of evidence that appeared to exonerate saturated fat.
They said relative levels of “good” cholesterol, or high density lipoprotein (HDL), were a better predictor of heart disease risk than levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), also known …