Low-fat diets could raise the risk of early death by almost one quarter, a major study has found. The Lancet study of 135,000 adults found those who cut back on fats had far shorter lives than those enjoying plenty of butter, cheese and meats.
See these 6 major findings from the study
#1 Too many carbs
Those on low fat diets tended to eat far too much stodgy food like bread, pasta and rice, the experts said, while missing out on vital nutrients. Participants eating the highest levels of carbohydrates – particularly refined sugars found in fizzy drinks and processed meals – faced a 28 per cent higher risk of early death.
#2 Higher Risk Factor
Researcher Dr Andrew Mente, from McMaster University, said: “Our data suggests that low fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. “Loosening the restriction on total fat and saturated fat and imposing limits on carbohydrates when high to reduce intake to moderate levels would be optimal.”
#3 Getting The Right Balance
Getting the balance of fats and carbohydrates right was about achieving a “sweet spot” which was best for health – meaning around 35 per cent of calories should come from fats.
#4 Recommended Daily Fat
Guidance states men should eat no more than 30g daily and women 20g. Saturated fat is typically found in animal products such as butter, cheese and red meat.
#5 The Statistics
A high carbohydrate diet – greater than 60 per cent of energy – is associated with higher risk of mortality. “Higher intake of fats, including saturated fats, are associated with lower risk of mortality.”
#6 Don’t Go Overboard
This study suggests we should perhaps pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet than we have in the past and we may need to revise the guidelines,” he said. “What I don’t think people should do is get excited and think ‘I can eat as much saturated fat as I like’”.