Avoid saturated fat to prevent heart disease

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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) launches a public health campaign to raise awareness of the health risks of eating too much saturated fat. The UK is currently eating 20% more saturated fat than UK Government recommendations.

The campaign will promote a range of simple, positive and practical steps we can take to help improve our health and reduce the risk of developing diet-related illness.

Long term, a diet high in saturated fat can raise cholesterol levels in the blood, which is a risk factor for heart and circulatory diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart attacks, angina and stroke ? or cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD is the most common cause of death in the UK and in 2006 was responsible for about one in three premature deaths1. Diet is a key risk factor in heart disease and it is estimated that cutting our intake of saturated fat could prevent up to 3,500 premature deaths a year, saving the UK economy more than ?1 billion a year in related costs2 .

The FSA’s activity includes a graphic 40-second TV advertisement illustrating that saturated fat can come from a variety of everyday foods and shows what a build up of fatty deposits could do to the heart over time. The setting is a typical fridge in an average home. A jug of saturated fat is poured down the sink, overloading and blocking a kitchen pipe to vividly bring to life the message that too much saturated fat is bad for your heart.

The health message is supported by a series of print advertisements that show how easy it is to make simple yet effective changes to the way we shop, cook and eat. Straightforward tips to reduce saturated fat intake include: cutting the fat off meat, switching to lower fat dairy products, and using vegetable oils instead of butter when cooking ? all designed to help shift people’s everyday habits with the aim of improving the nation’s overall diet related health.

Source: Food Standards Agency, UK

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