Three specialists argued that eating "real food", taking exercise and reducing stress are better ways to stave off heart disease than cutting out dietary saturated fat. 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".
However the authors found an ally in Dr Mary Hannon-Fletcher, head of the school of health sciences at the University of Ulster, who described the editorial as "the best dietary and exercise advice I have read in recent years". She added: "Walking 22 minutes a day and eating real food. This is an excellent public health message; the modern idea of a healthy diet where we eat low-fat and low-calorie foods is simply not a healthy option."