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Butter should be banned: surgeon

Diets heavy with saturated fat are leading to people younger than 40 having bypass operations, a heart surgeon said as he issued a plea for butter to be banned.

Shyam Kolvekar, who works at the Heart Hospital in central London, said that 3,500 deaths could be prevented every year if people were to cut out eating butter and other foods high in saturated fat.

According to the surgeon, butter should be banned and replaced with a low-fat spread.

The warning comes amid figures revealing that approximately 90% of children, 88% of men and 83% of women in the UK eat too much saturated fat.

The Food Standards Agency figures come as it launches the second phase of its saturated fat awareness campaign.

Mr Kolvekar said: "By banning butter and replacing it with a healthy spread the average daily sat fat intake would be reduced by 8g - that's 40% of a women's daily allowance.

"This would save thousands of lives each year and help to protect them from cardiovascular disease - the UK's biggest killer."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

Food Standards Agency

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I think we should treat each patient as an individual, when giving advice on a healthy balanced way of eating, suggestions will be tailor made, then maybe we will get better results because we are allowing the patient to be in control" -  Veronica, London

"What a load of tosh. The nanny state has gone too far this time. Ban butter and consume a diet of E numbers. It would be more helpful to take a good look at the utter rubbish that is added to the food we buy in supermarkets and get back to locally grown, in season products including butter and cheese made in the organic way. That would cut out all the additives. Please stop stop making these ludicrous statements made to take the population's mind of much more serious problems of the national dept" - Elaine Wilson, Wales

"I most certainly do not agree with banning butter. There is so much else on the super market shelves that is far more damaging and what about the over-consumption of fast foods" - Clodagh Scott, Australia

"Yes I agree, it is a killer. People may need more education" - Jancy Siby, Leicester

"Of course not, any more than we should ban sugar, coffee, white flour, or any other food stuff that, taken in excess, could be harmful. The key is moderation, so we are back to health education and letting people make healthier choices for themselves. If you ban everything that is 'bad' when taken in excess, there'd be nothing left. If you're going to ban harmful things, then at least start with cigarettes and alcohol... only the government will never do that as they can't manage without the revenue" - Laura, Leeds

"I definitely do NOT agree that butter should be banned. For a start, butter is NATURAL, and secondly, if people would learn to USE it correctly - ie, sparingly, it does FAR LESS HARM than MARGARINE or so called 'low fat spreads'. Has this doctor ever investigated the manufacture of the so-called low-fat spreads? THEY have far more toxins in them which are harmful, than butter will ever have! butter sensibly and leave OUT the spreads. Also, don't forget what else people eat that is saturated with the wrong FATS - eg 'take-away' junk foods.
We must learn to eat a HEALTHY DIET- control our eating habits and stop blaming the wrong foods for our 'sins'" - Mabel Farr, N Ireland

"What would they replace it with? Those margarines that claim to contain omega 3 and 6? If it's a margarine it contains trans fats, no matter what the label says. The omega 3 they contain is minimal and from the wrong source, ie plant instead of fish. The omega 3 to 6 ratio is wrong, ie too much omega 6 which is implicated other cardiovascular problems is well as an increase in some cancers. I wouldn't touch any so-called healthy spreads. For the record my cholesterol is lower than average (4,8 mmol/l) for the Netherlands and just under half of that is HDL. I suspect Shyam Kolvekars has a lot of Asian patients who use a lot more butter in their diet than the average European" - Paul, Leiden, NL