A low-fat diet raises the risk of early death by almost a quarter according to a recent study. The Lancet looked at 135,000 adults and found that those who cut out things like meat and butter had much shorter lives than those who didn’t.
Main takeaways from the study
- A prospective cohort study included 18 countries at varying economic levels
- Researchers found that high carbohydrate intake (more than about 60% of energy) increases total mortality and non-cardiovascular disease mortality
- Higher fat intake lowers risk of total mortality, non-cardiovascular disease mortality, and stroke
- Higher intakes of individual types of fat reduced total mortality, non-cardiovascular disease mortality, and stroke risk
- Higher fat intake did not cause major cardiovascular disease events, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease mortality
- Current recommendations to limit total fat intake to less than 30% of energy and saturated fat intake to less than 10% of energy should be changed
- Individuals who eat a lot of carbohydrates might benefit lowering carbs and increasing their fats.
What this means for you
What’s remarkable about this study is that until now, the majority of research was done in European and North American populations, where most people have plenty of food and obesity is common.