Start researching the effects of diet on health, and you’ll end up confused, if not dazed. Take, for instance, the findings of a new study that has concluded that a diet high in fats – such as red meat, eggs, dairy and nuts – may increase the risk of coronary heart disease, but not of stroke.
This major study, which involved 43,732 men aged between 40 and 75, confirms earlier findings that even the ‘bad’ fats such as saturated and trans unsaturated fatty acids do not increase the chances of stroke, even if the generally accepted view is that they are associated with heart disease.
The fat intake of the 725 men who suffered a stroke during the 14 years of the study did not appear to play a part in their disease, the Harvard research team concluded. In fact, even the type of fat consumed did not seem to be a cause.
This is all very perplexing because there is a close link between heart disease and stroke. What appears to need reevaluating, the researchers suggest, is the role that cholesterol plays in the two diseases. In short, cholesterol may not be a factor in stroke at all, they suggest.
But could it be that cholesterol is one of medicine’s great red herrings? (Don’t forget, you read it here first, folks – unless you’re a longstanding WDDTY subscriber, in which case, you read it 10 years ago).
(Source: British Medical Journal, 2003; 327: 777-81).
*SO WHAT ARE THE SECRETS OF HEART DISEASE AND DIET? Find out the real answers in our guide Your Healthy Heart. To order your copy, click on this link: http://www.wddty.co.uk/shop/details.asp?product=110