Did you know that a low fat diet could actually kill you?
In the months building up and throughout summer, plenty of people tend to diet. Whether you go on a juice cleanse, cut out carbs or try and tone down the fats, most of us have attempted to get a little healthier and be "beach body ready".
However, for those of you who have adopted a low-fat diet as your preferred method of weight loss, I have some bad news for you: low-fat diets could increase the risk of an early death by one quarter, according to a major study.
The Lancet study, which included 135,000 adults, found that those who chose to cut back on fats had a far shorter life than those who were enjoying plenty of butter, cheese and meat (result!!) Researchers said that the study was at odds with the repeated health warnings regarding the amount of fats that we consume that come from various different medical sources.
Those people who decided to cut down on fats were instead eating higher levels of stodgy foods such as bread, pasta and rice and the experts who conducted the study said that this meant that they were missing out on vital nutrients.
Participants who were eating the highest level of carbohydrates and refined sugars such as fizzy drinks, faced a 28 per cent higher risk of early death.
Despite the NHS constantly giving out cautions surrounding having too many saturated fats as it raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease, the latest research goes against this. The research, which was presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona, revealed that those with a low intake of saturated fat increased their chances of an early death by 13 per cent compared to those who were getting plenty of them. The research also found that consuming high levels of all types of fat cut mortality by up to 23 per cent.
The study tracked the eating patterns and death rates of people across 18 different countries and Dr Andrew Mente, one of the researchers, said:
"Our data suggests that low fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Loosening the restriction on total fat and saturated fat and imposing limits on carbohydrates when high to reduce intake to moderate levels would be optimal."
Mente said that 35 per cent of calories should be coming from fats, which is in line with NHS guidelines. However, health officials are still warning people to cut down their consumption of saturated fats in order to protect their hearts.
In light of the results of the study, consultant cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra said it was time "for a complete U-turn" in Britain's approach to diet and the demonisation of fats that is currently commonplace in British society. The sooner we do that the sooner we reverse the epidemic in obesity and diabetes and the sooner start improving health."
Professor Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation said that health officials should re-examine dietary advice, to ensure the public get the best message regarding diet as possible:
"This study suggests we should perhaps pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet than we have in the past and we may need to revise the guidelines. What I don’t think people should do is get excited and think 'I can eat as much saturated fat as I like'".
Alright Jeremy, you spoil sport; I was getting ready to go home and consume my body weight in cheese and pork until you said that.