Australia’s dietitians have come out strongly against UK advice to eat more fat to reverse obesity and type 2 diabetes.

The follows a UK report that calls for an urgent overhaul of dietary guidelines and claims that the promotion of low-fat foods has had “disastrous health consequences”.

A report titled ‘Eat Fat, Cut the Carbs and Avoid Snacking’ by the National Obesity Forum and Public Health Collaboration says a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet of real foods is an “acceptable, effective and safe approach” to weight loss and health

It says eating fat does not make you fat, saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease and that full-fat dairy is likely protective. And it adds that processed foods labelled low-fat, lite, low cholesterol or proven to lower cholesterol should be avoided.

“Eat fat to get slim, don’t fear fat, fat is your friend,” says consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra, advisor to the forum.

However, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) says: “A diet high in saturated fat is a risk factor for heart disease, one of our nation’s biggest killers.

“Saturated fats tend to increase LDL cholesterol in the blood and current evidence suggests these should be eaten sparingly to minimise the risk of heart disease.

“Instead, foods that are rich in unsaturated fats are recommended.”

In relation to carbohydrates, choices such as whole grains and legumes can be part of a healthy diet, and are recommended to help meet daily fibre targets.

Overseas experts also criticised the report saying it was misleading, did not go through scientific peer review and was largely based on selective quotations from the literature.

Public Health England’s chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said the call to eat more fat was irresponsible and potentially deadly. – AAP