From Spiked Online:
It certainly seems to be the case that eating more saturated fat increases the amount of cholesterol in your blood. It’s the cholesterol - or more particularly these days, the so-called bad cholesterol - which is deemed to cause those furry arteries. The trouble is that intervening in diet doesn’t seem to make a great deal of difference. In the early Eighties, a massive intervention trial called MRFIT reduced cholesterol and saturated fat intake for a large group of Americans. If the theory was right, the result should have been a sharp drop in heart attacks. The actual result? No change. The kind of dietary changes that people are constantly told to make had no effect on the risk of having a coronary. Incredibly, however, this negative result had no effect on the popularity of the diet-causes-heart-attacks thesis, either.
In 1998, the Danish doctor and cholesterol sceptic Uffe Ravnskov noted: ‘The crucial test is the controlled, randomised trial. Eight such trials using diet as the only treatment have been performed but neither the number of fatal or non-fatal heart attacks was reduced.’ Indeed, as Gary Taubes notes in his book The Diet Delusion, there was initially a lot of scepticism about the idea that cholesterol was a killer and it was only when the idea got the official stamp of approval from the US government in the 1960s that it became regarded as common sense; as Taubes shows, the epidemiological evidence for the theory was full of holes. (For a review of the book, see The Copernicus of the diet debate? by Rob Lyons.)
Full article here
Via the Food & Health Skeptic
And as ever, I'd urge people to read this article from The New York Times concerning the Taubes' book referred to above: Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus