The amount we eat can be safely doubled from the levels that current dietary guidelines advise so, for instance, we can have 4.5 oz a day of red meat—equivalent to a small steak—every day and not the 2.5 oz currently being recommended.
Those who are eating more meat and dairy have a 25 per cent lower risk of heart disease, and a 22 per cent reduced risk of a heart attack, leading cardiologists have been told at their annual conference.
Researcher Andrew Mente from McMaster University in Canada has told the cardiologists that the theory that saturated fats clog arteries and cause atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is just plain wrong. On the contrary, saturated fats from meat and dairy seems to have a protective effect.
The best healthy-heart diet would include three servings a day of dairy products, such as cheese, and one-and-a-half of meat, plus eight servings of fruit and vegetables, and two-and-a-half portions of nuts and beans.
Analysing the results of a study involving more than 218,000 people, Mente and his team have concluded that the foods to avoid are the refined carbohydrates.
In a separate study also presented to the cardiologists, other researchers confirmed that people who regularly eat cheese had an 8 per cent reduced risk of dying over the six years of the trial.