A major global study claims low-fat diet could raise the risk of premature death.
This research, published in TheLancet.com, counters what we’ve always believed in —that too much fat will kill you.
The study suggests that lower consumption of fat is linked with a higher risk of death compared with higher intakes — which amounts to 35 percent of energy. Moreover, higher amounts of carbohydrates (of more than 60 percent of energy) consumed can be a threat to your life.
The researchers from the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Canada analyzed data from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, which involved more than 135,000 people from 18 countries in seven geographical regions: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, South Asia, China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. The participants were asked about their diet for an average of seven and a half years between January 2003 and March 2013.
The researchers noted that dietary fats are not associated with major cardiovascular disease, but higher fat consumption was associated with lower mortality. This was seen for all major types of fats—saturated, polyunsaturated, and mono unsaturated. Saturated fats were associated with lower stroke risk, contradicting Britain’s National Health Service‘s statement that eating a lot of saturated fat can increase the levels of cholesterol in your blood.
The study questions the conventional beliefs about dietary fats and clinical outcomes.
Mahshid Dehghan, lead author for the study and an investigator at PHRI, said in a report by ScienceDaily.com that a decrease in fat intake automatically led to an increase in carbohydrate consumption.
“… our findings may explain why certain populations such as South Asians, who do not consume much fat but consume a lot of carbohydrates, have higher mortality rates,” she said.
A 2015 study from Harvard University that suggested that low-fat diets do not work because these do not have correlation to weight loss or good health at all.
“Despite the pervasive dogma that one needs to cut fat to lose weight, the scientific evidence does not support low-fat diets over other dietary interventions for long-term weight loss,” concluded Dr. Deirdre Tobias in an earlier study as quoted in NaturalNews.com. “There is no good evidence for recommending low-fat diets.”
In another study, fruits, vegetables, and legume consumption was also assessed. People who consume three to four servings or a total of 375 to 500 grams of fruits, vegetables, and legumes a day showed a lower risk of non-cardiovascular and the lowest risk of death, according to the results.
Since this study includes populations from geographic regions that have not been studied before, the findings that these foods reduce disease risk added strength to the claim.
“Raw vegetable intake was more strongly associated with a lower risk of death compared to cooked vegetable intake, but raw vegetables are rarely eaten in South Asia, Africa, and Southeast Asia,” said Victoria Miller, a McMaster doctoral student and lead author of the PURE study.
There is little to no data available from the Middle East, South America, Africa, or South Asia regarding the association of the intake of fruits, vegetables, and legumes with cardiovascular disease and death before this study.
Diets which include moderate intake of fat and fruits and vegetables, and avoidance of high carbohydrates could lower risk of death, the scientists concluded.
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