Letters Sugar and the heart

Low carbohydrate diets increase saturated fat consumption

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f812 (Published 13 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f812
  1. Timo E Strandberg, professor1
  1. 1Universities of Helsinki and Oulu, 00029 HUS, Finland
  1. timo.strandberg{at}oulu.fi

In Finland the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction1: population cholesterol concentrations have stopped falling as they have done for decades, and even increased in 2012.2 The likely culprit is the strong promotion of low carbohydrate diets, which also entail increased consumption of saturated fat. The sugar industry loses, the dairy industry wins, and I would predict an increase in cardiovascular disease.

By the way, Ancel Keys included not only saturated fat but also refined sugar and exercise in his health advice over 50 years ago.3 So far, I haven’t discovered better and simpler advice if we want to prevent both cardiovascular disease and obesity.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f812


  • Competing interests: None declared.