Recent US federal recommendations on new safe levels of LDL or bad cholesterol could mean sunnier days for producers of health foods but even more gloom for makers of convenience and fast food.

A report drafted by the National Cholesterol Education Programme suggests that the target level of LDL, the type of cholesterol that increases the likelihood of heart disease, should be less than 100.

That is 30 points lower than previously recommended. This means that people who originally thought they were in a safe level of LDL must try to eat a more balanced diet of fruits and vegetables as opposed to foods rich in fat and sugar, said the recommendations in the journal Circulation.