A new study has found that a low-fat diet is not good for us and contributes to early mortality.
Dr. Sonia Anand, a professor of medicine at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, who is one of the co-authors of the study, says the research contradicts the popular notion which a majority of us have been taught for years that fats are to be taken in the utmost minimal by a person to ensure good health.
Speaking to a news publication about the findings of the research, Dr. Anand said:
“In our study, we actually found that a moderate to high consumption of fat is OK. It’s really when you’re not consuming much fat at all where you show an increased risk of dying. Individuals who consumed a very low amount of fat had a higher mortality. A high amount of fat had a lower mortality.”
The research was done through the studying of diets and the health of more than 135,000 people in 18 countries from Europe, America, Asia and Africa.
The study’s findings have been presented to the European Society of Cardiology Congress otherwise known as the world’s largest heart conference, in Barcelona, Spain.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Mahshid Dehghan, a nutrition epidemiologist at the university’s Population Health and Research Institute, explained to the Congress that low-fat diets can jeopardize health.
“Those with a high-fat intake, about 30 percent of energy intake, had a 23 percent lower risk of mortality and an 18 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to the low-intake group, which had 11 percent energy from fat,” Dehghan said.
“The association with lower mortality was also seen with all major types of fat, by which I mean saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.”
He reiterated that for decades, dietary guidelines have focused on reducing total fat and saturated fatty acid. He, however, insisted that the body needs fat as it carries vitamins which provide essential acids that play significant roles in the body.
“When you reduce fat to very low levels, you’re affecting these important minerals.”
From the earliest days in school, Foods and Nutritionists have always listed fats and oil as one of the 6 classes of food. Somehow fats and carbs which forms a major percentage of our food are demonized.
Over time they have been argued to have their own quintessential use. The latest finding on low-fat diets which has been published in the highly notable Lancet medical journal is one of those.
According to the study, running away from fats in its entirety is unhealthy. It says fats amongst other functions have the potential of protecting the human health.
The dos and donts of nutrition have never stopped being multi-faceted. Each theory comes up with its ideals while contradicting others. What is known about food nutrition and healthy diets keeps evolving with every new research.
Basically, these are the importance of fats in out diets.
- They are great energy givers. Excesses are stored up in your adipose tissue for later use.
- Fats helps to maintain healthy skin and other tissues.
- They help in maintaining healthy cell membranes. The brain contains large amounts of essential fats.
- Functions in the synthesis of steroid hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone.
- Fats help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins – vitamins A, D, E, and K, the so-called fat-soluble vitamins. It transfers the vitamins through the bloodstream to various parts of the body.
- Fats also fills up fat cells and insulates your body to help keep you warm.
With popular health calls to cut down on fats, the commonly misunderstood nutrient is substituted for carbohydrates which exposes human health to same dreaded heart health risks it set out to avoid.
It was also found that those who consume refined sugar and processed meals have a 28% higher risk of early death. It proposes that sourcing about 35% of energy from fat is the best.
Meanwhile, it is not disputed that saturated fats have been found to be the cause of obesity, increased bad cholesterol and other heart diseases.
There are saturated fats (solid at room temperature) and unsaturated fats (liquid a room temperature). While saturated fatty food sources may pose a health danger, it is recommended that the unsaturated fats be used more.