Health Care

Cutting down on saturated fat can shorten your life, study shows

Cutting down on saturated fat can shorten your life, study shows”

The study by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton also found that eating a high-carbohydrate diet is associated with an increased risk of dying early.

Finally, comparing vegetable preparation, the study showed a trend towards lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death with raw versus cooked vegetable intake "but raw vegetables are rarely eaten in South Asia, Africa and Southeast Asia", said Dr. Mente.

Dehghan and colleagues sifted through the health data of 135,000 volunteers from 18 countries across six continents, aged 35-70, who were monitored for a seven-and-half years.

The team were able to come up with figures describing the average diet (61.2% carbohydrates, 23.5% fat - including 8% saturated fats, 8.1% monounsaturated fats, and 5.3% polyunsaturated fats - and 15.2% protein).

"Limiting total fat consumption is unlikely to improve health in populations, and a total fat intake of about 35 percent of energy with concomitant lowering of carbohydrate intake may lower risk of total mortality".

Conversely, total fat intake in the highest versus lowest quartile was associated with a significant 23 percent reduction of total mortality risk, an 18 percent reduced risk of stroke, and a 30 percent reduced risk of non-CVD mortality.

Global dietary guidelines should change to suggest people can eat more fat than previously thought, with a view to preventing overconsumption of carbohydrates, according to a new worldwide study led by Canadian researchers.

Diets high in carbohydrates - accounting for 77% of calories - were associated with a 28% greater risk of death, although they did not affect rates of heart attacks and strokes.

Dr Dehghan's findings may have more relevance to those living in low- and middle-income countries, located mainly in China, South Asia and Africa.

Dietary guidelines in high-income countries such as the United Kingdom recommend a balance of carbohydrates and fats (around 50-55% carbohydrates and around 35% total fat, including both saturated and unsaturated fats). The researchers recorded 2,143 heart attacks and 2,234 strokes.

Of particular importance, an intake of 3 to 4 servings per day (equivalent to 375-500 grams per day) was just as beneficial on total mortality as higher amounts (hazard ratio [HR] of 0·78; 95% CI 0·69 to 0·88).

EATING a low-fat diet could kill you, a major study claims.

But overall fat consumption is significantly lower today in North America and Europe, at 31 per cent, she said. "So moderate intakes, of around 50-55% of energy, are likely to be more appropriate than either very high or very low carbohydrate intakes".

The reported link between high-carb diets and excess mortality "was from non-cardiovascular deaths and is unexplained", she said.

Dr Sanders also added that the participants from the high-income countries included in this study all had access to good health care.

"There are many other non-diet related factors which contribute to differences in ill-health and the causes of death".

And previous year Public Health England suggested increasing the proportion of starchy carbohydrates in the diet.

For this analysis, investigators assessed associations between fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption at baseline and risk of CVD and mortality after a median of 7.4 years of follow-up.

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