- Najja Parker The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
If you think consuming less fats will lead to a healthier life, think again. New research suggests it’s the carbohydrates you should worry about.
Researchers from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Canada recently conducted a series of studies, which were published in The Lancet, to determine the link between high-carb diets and mortality rates.
To do so, they gathered data from a study that assessed the eating habits of more than 135,000 people from 18 different countries for about seven years. They also factored in economic status, medical history and current health.
When examining dietary fats, they found that individuals with a high fat intake, where fats made up 35 percent of their daily diet, had a 23 percent lower risk of early death. Also, those who ate more fats had a 18 percent lower risk for stroke compared to those who ate less fats. This was the case for all major fats including saturated and non-saturated.
On the other hand, people with high-carb diets, where carbs made up 77 percent of their daily food intake, had a 28 percent increased risk of death versus those with low-carb diets.
“High carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. Total fat and types of fat were not associated with cardiovascular disease, myocardial infarction (heart attack), or cardiovascular disease mortality,” the study read.
When assessing the effectiveness of fruits, vegetables and legumes, researchers discovered the lowest risk of early death in those who consumed three to four servings a day.
“Higher fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption was associated with a lower risk of non-cardiovascular, and total mortality. Benefits appear to be maximum for both non-cardiovascular mortality and total mortality at three to four servings per day (equivalent to 375–500 g/day),” the study explained.
Scientists believe their findings should be used to better guide individuals to a healthier lifestyle. They suggest altering dietary guidelines and repairing the nutritional inadequacies across the globe.