Talk on diet advice for heart health

Dr Aseem Malhotra and Richard Stantiford
Dr Aseem Malhotra and Richard Stantiford

A prominent cardiologist has accepted an invitation to speak at a heart patient group’s 25th anniversary event in June.

Dr Aseem Malhotra is a leading campaigner around the effects of sugar on health and wrote the popular book The Pioppi Diet which he describes as 'challenging conventional wisdom'.

The event, organised by Brighton and Sussex Take Heart Group (BSTHG), will take place on Friday, June 8, at the Malmaison Hotel in Brighton.

Richard Stantiford, an exercise physiologist and director of cardiac rehabilitation for Take Heart Group, said: “We feel honoured to have him along because he’s such a great speaker and he’s so passionate about what he does.

"Obviously he’s a cardiologist first and foremost so for us having an eminent cardiologist coming to talk to the patients is great.”

BSTHG provides support, social activities and exercise classes for around 400 heart patients and those who feel at risk of heart problems in the area.

Dr Malhotra said: “I think they’re doing great things and I think what’s really interesting is Richard is bold enough to take my message forward.”

Research from Dr Malhotra, which focuses on lifestyle changes, is behind many of the group’s activities.

Dr Malhotra added: “If you look at the British HeartAdvic Foundation’s advice they say follow a diet that lowers cholesterol, reducing saturated fat, that kind of thing. We’re saying you don’t need to do that.”

Both Mr Stantiford and Dr Malhotra describe current guidelines for tackling heart problems as outdated.

Dr Malhotra said: “The problem is that a lot of current advice is outdated and unfortunately has been influenced by commercial interests – if we get the independent evidence out there then people’s lives will be transformed very, very quickly.”

Dinner attendees will hear details of the Pioppi Diet plan as well as Dr Malhotra’s views on overprescription in the UK.

He said: “Prescribed medications are now estimated to be the third most common cause of death after heart disease and cancer due to side effects so there’s a real problem.”

Mr Stantiford said: “For me and for the committee it’s fantastic because, in the grand scheme of things, this is a chap that goes all over the world and speaks at the most highly prestigious events and so for him to be coming to little old Brighton to our 25-year Jubilee do is quite a big thing for us.”

Social events coordinator and editor of Take Heart Group’s quarterly magazine Morris Baker said that Mr Stantiford’s classes fill up almost instantly.

The 72-year-old said: “We all get to know each other, we all have a laugh. We all exercise as well.”

For further details about the event email richard@takeheartgroup.org.