The World Heart Federation president, Salim Yusuf, has presented the data from the PURE study on diet and cardiovascular disease. This is breaking news and will send ripples across the world.

“Every week in the newspaper we read something is good for you, and the same thing next week is bad for you”. If you only watch one presentation on nutrition for the next decade, this is it.

UPDATE – this video is often removed so if it is missing when you read this article, it may be found on other channels. I have summarised his presentation below for those of you in case it has been removed.

Diet And Cardiovascular Disease

The PURE study collected data from 17 countries and 150,000 people. The data directly challenges the WHO and AHA guidelines on diet and cardiovascular disease.

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  1. As increasing carbohydrate intake occurs, there is an increase risk of cardiovascular disease. The current guidelines promote reducing our fat intake, and increasing our carbohydrate intake. This is most likely damaging. Once you go past 40-55% carbohydrate intake, there is a steep increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease. The WHO guidelines say that up to 75% carbohydrates is acceptable – “but that is wrong”.
  2. Increasing fats is protective. Saturated fats may be beneficial, at the very least, they do no harm. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, you get a clear benefit. Polyunsaturated fats, which is largely from vegetables oils which are highly processed oils, are neutral. BUT, remember the introduction of these newly created oils in the last 30 years, are entirely industry driven. We went from natural fats (largely animal fats) to ultra processed vegetable fats.
  3. There is ZERO evidence to encourage low-fat dairy products. The saturated fat that comes from full fat dairy may be protective.
  4. Hypertensive patients are extremely sensitive to salt so it makes sense for these patients to cut back on salt. BUT, if you do not have high blood pressure, do not cut back on salt. Sodium is an essential for various functions within your body and homeostasis. Sodium is vital for fighting infection which is why most of our sodium is stored under our skin (subcutaneous lymphatic system) to fight infection as it occurs. Increasing sodium at the site of infection, fights infection. Moderate sodium intake 3-5g per day is optimal.
  5. Vegetables – raw, cooked, coloured, leafy green all are neutral. What does this mean? This notion of 5 fruit or vegetables per day is made up (why isn’t it 2 or 8). Yes eat fruit and vegetables because we like them, because they will contain micronutrients, and we enjoy them.

How did they get heart disease risk factors (SO wrong?)

What is cholesterol and do you need to fear it? A new cholesterol study says no.

Depending on the bio-marker (blood tests) you are analysing, you may make different conclusions.

Previous studies analysed the rise in LDL from saturated fat intake, and yes LDL increases slightly, but what they didn’t show, was the reduction in cardiovascular risk.

It was this rise in LDL from saturated fats that have dominated the eating guidelines. They failed to differentiate and clarify the relationship between diet and LDL particle size.

Apo B/Apo A ratio is the most sensitive risk factor prediction (Apo A is protective, Apo B is damaging). This is what has now been studied.

  • Increasing carbohydrates, increases the ratio and increases your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Increasing saturated fats, mildly decreases the ratio and can be considered neutral or slightly beneficial.
  • Increasing monounsaturated fats heavily reduces your ratio, and reduces your cardiovascular risk.

Reduction in salt was studied in the Yanomami Indians. Yes, lower salt intake gave them lower blood pressure, but their life expectancy was 32. They died from infections. The current WHO states salt should be 2-2.3g sodium per day. “This is completely wrong”.


“The conclusion of my talk is contrary to common beliefs that current recommendations to reduce saturated fats have no scientific basis.”

“I am not the only one saying this. Nina Teicholz who wrote Big Fat Surprise shook up the nutrition world, but she got it right.”

“Did you know that the seven countries study that actually had a straight line between saturated fat and cardiovascular risk is fudged because 23 countries participated in that study and they took the seven best that fitted that line”. “They chose the seven that fitted the line. The nutrition field has been distorted”.

  • “mediterranean diet is not low fat and not low salt diet.”
  • “carbohydrates are your biggest culprit, so when you eat a hamburger, throw away the bun”
  • “enjoy your eggs without any consciounce” 

Lower your carbohydrates, increase your healthy fats, ensure moderate sodium, enjoy lower carbohydrate fruit, vegetables and legumes.

Dr Salim Yusuf

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