An August, 2017 Lancet and Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology study of over 135,000 people on 5 continents found the following:
- Higher carbohydrate intake was associated with an increased risk of total mortality, whereas intake of total fat and each type of fat was associated with lower risk of total mortality
- Total fat and types of fat were not associated with Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), myocardial infarction, or CVD mortality
- High carbohydrate intake had the most adverse impact on CVD risk factors, whereas monounsaturated fats seemed to be beneficial and saturated fats were not harmful
- Reducing saturated fats and replacing them with carbohydrates increased CVD risks
- Increased fruit, vegetable, and legume consumption was associated with a lower risk of total mortality and non-CVD mortality. These benefits could be achieved at 3-4 servings per day (375-400 g/day). Additional consumption did not appear to further reduce risks
Why is this important?
- Findings from this largest cohort study to date do not support the current recommendation to restrict total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy and saturated fat intake to less than 10% of total energy
- Individuals with high carbohydrate intake, above 60% of total energy, would likely benefit from reducing carbohydrate intake and increasing fat and protein
- In low- and middle-income countries, a typical diet may consist of more than 65% of total energy from carbohydrates. Dietary guidelines should refocus on reducing carbohydrates instead of focusing on reducing fats
So, to conclude: eat moderate amounts of quality fats like avocados, raw nuts and seeds, raw dairy, etc., and increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables while decreasing your intake of useless, grain-based carbohydrates like chips, candy, breads, cookies, etc.