(NaturalNews) A British heart surgeon has issued a call for a ban on butter, citing excessive consumption of saturated fats which he believes has rapidly increased the number of heart disease cases in the Great Britain. Dr. Shyam Kolvekar expressed concern that people as young as 30 years old are now getting heart bypass surgery, an issue that he believes could be remedied by switching from butter to margarine or other "healthy" spreads.
Roughly 90 percent of British children eat too much saturated fat according to a U.K. diet survey. Eighty-eight percent of adult men and 83 percent of adult women also consume too much, averaging 20 percent over the recommended maximum. Some researchers believe that saturated fat contributes to high cholesterol and artery blockage.
Dr. Kolvekar's plea against using butter comes at the same time that other British health organizations are calling for a ban on trans-fats. Margarine, one of Dr. Kolvekar's recommended alternatives to butter, is most often comprised of trans-fatty hydrogenated oils which are linked to the very same diseases that he believes are being caused by butter.
Nevertheless, Dr. Kolvekar believes that banning butter would reduce average daily fat intake by at least eight grams. Since buttered toast is a British breakfast staple, he is promoting the use of alternative spreads to replace butter. He also suggests avoiding foods like cheese and red meat which stay solid at room temperature.
According to Dr. Kolvekar and others, simple dietary changes can go a long way in preventing some of the serious diseases that he believes are caused by saturated fat. The Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) of saturated fat in the U.K. is 30 grams for men and 20 grams for women and exceeding these levels is relatively easy. Simple changes like drinking reduced fat milk and skipping the butter can help people to stay below these levels.
Not all studies point to saturated fat as the culprit in heart disease, however. Trans-fats are known to wreak havoc on the body, leading to high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and other serious problems. This is why several countries including Canada and Switzerland have banned trans-fats from food.
Not all saturated fats are harmful, either: some studies indicate that certain saturated fats are necessary in order to maintain health. High rates of heart disease were not common until refined, hydrogenated oils came on the scene, indicating that these artificial food additives are to blame.