Flora should we trust it ?

Zoe Harcombe is a respected nutritionist and rightly questions whether we should be using Flora spreads with or without plant sterols. The reason being is that they are full of vegetable oils, some nasty ones at that, which damage our arteries. If you want to use plant sterols take them without the Flora. You can read her opinion at


9 Replies

  • Zoe Harcombe is a member of The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics. I think people should be aware that the advisor holds a minority viewpoint.

    The butter fetishism and margarine-phobia is widespread and it's strange how exponents never mention that butter isn't exactly naturally-occurring either. Modern factory butter's manufacture is slightly less contrived than margarine's, but not by much!

    However, I would agree that if you want to take sterols (or stanols), measured-dose tablets or bottles are a much better idea than enriched foods, as long as you'll remember to take them.

  • Does that make Zoe wrong, do you think we should be eating margarine ?

  • I think eating good-quality margarine is about as bad/good as eating butter. Olive oil is better when you can.

  • There is a raft of research that shows olive oil impedes endothelial function which is why the likes of Esseltyn and Ornish advise NO OIL!, his empasis.

  • And there's a raft of research showing it lowers cholesterol. You place your bets and I'm comfortable betting against the likes of Ornish Lifestyle Medicine!

  • Well its the only lifestyle treatment shown to reverse heart disease. In situations like this you can afford to leave out a food stuff like Olive oil when its not an essentially needed food source. We dont need olive oil so why bet

  • Shown by themselves or is there any peer-reviewed data yet?

  • You dont get published in The Lancet unless you are peer reviewed. Ornish published in 1993 and sat back and expected the world of heart disease to change. He did not realise that the industry was not interested in preventing or reversing heart disease.

  • Tons of people have stuff published in the Lancet, but that wouldn't mean their latest diet plan does everything they said. I seem to recall some back and forth in a magazine with the reporter and Ornish disputing and one point Ornish made was that independent studies of his diet hadn't followed it correctly and that's why they couldn't replicate his results.

    I think that was a year or two ago, so I wondered if anyone other than Ornish had managed to use his diet successfully for a large group. I guess not, then!

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