Heart experts have been criticised for claiming it is “plain wrong” to believe that saturated fat clogs up arteries.

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”.

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.

Source: Popular belief that saturated fat clogs up arteries is a myth, experts say