‘Fat is bad’ the media tells us, along with visions of obesity and poor health. Cutting back on fat is one of the main messages you may have learned early on. Too much fat, especially saturated fat – as found in animal meats and dairy products can all lead to heart disease, stroke and obesity, they say.
Yet fat may not be the only culprit behind unhealthy conditions. Some recent studies have revealed that cutting back on fat doesn’t always lead to a lower risk of heart disease or a reduced chance of dying early.
In fact, one of the most comprehensive studies to date affecting health and mortality found that rather than report about lowering fat, more people may benefit from lowering the amount of carbohydrates they eat.
One study published in the Lancet found that people eating a high amount of carbohydrates as found in bread and rice have a nearly 30% higher risk of dying during the study compared to people eating a low-carb diet.
People eating high-fats also have a 23% lower chance of dying during the study’s seven year period of follow-up, compared to people eating less fat.
The authors say that the results point to the fact that, rather than focusing on fat, you should focus on lowering the amount of carbohydrates you eat. The study involved over 135,000 people from 18 different countries with their average diet consisting of 61% carbohydrates, 23% fat and 15% protein.
In countries such as China, South Asia and Africa however, the amount of carbohydrates eaten was much higher – at 63% to 67%. More than half of the people studied also consumed high-carbohydrate diets.
The Focus on Fat
In the 1970s, studies and news reports focusing on cholesterol emerged and this connected fatty foods and heart disease. Doctors told people to reduce their fat intake in their diet by cutting back on red meat, dairy products, eggs and fried foods.
Food producers took up this mantra and started manufacturing products low in fat. The fat was replaced with carbohydrates.
Scientists now understand that these can be just as unhealthy, if not more so than eating fat. This is because carbohydrates are easily stored as glucose in the body, raising blood sugar levels, contributing to obesity and diabetes…and both of these are risk factors for heart disease.
Fat itself is not bad…
Fat was vilified because the first studies to link fat to heart disease were conducted in North America and Europe that have the highest consumption of fat worldwide.
Different diet advice is needed for different populations and in Western cultures where there is an excess of fat, reducing fat can play an important role in lowering heart disease – so long as people aren’t replacing fats with carbohydrates.
While in some parts of the world, carbohydrates form a large part of the diet, so cutting back on these carbs and focusing on fat may be beneficial. The study’s authors wrote, “Individuals with high carbohydrate intake might benefit from a reduction in carbohydrate intake and an increase in the consumption of fats.”
More studies are required however to find out how much fat and carbohydrates should be recommended for best health. This is because the study doesn’t compare people eating low-fat diets and low-carb diets to determine how their diets affect their mortality.
Healthy Fat Can Support Good Brain Health
Sources of healthy monounsaturated fats as found in avocados may benefit brain function. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acid known as Docosahexaenoic acid, DHA has been shown to support healthy brain functions such as memory, speaking ability and motor skills.
Adding more omega-3s into your diet may even help to improve conditions such as ADHD, bipolar disorder and even depression.
Eat Healthy Fat, Stay Slim
The key to good health is therefore adding more healthy fats into your diet and avoiding carbohydrates. Avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oils are rich sources of healthy fats.
More than 50 percent of the avocado’s fat content for example, comes from monounsaturated fats and these can support good cholesterol levels. When healthy fats are added into your diet, they can help you to keep healthy and to stay slim in the long-term.
Along with these foods, you may want to consider adding in the following supplements into your healthy lifestyle, to allow healthy fats to be easier digested in the body…
Original Source: TIME Health.
|Essential Digestive Plus™ – Digestive enzymes can provide better absorption for healthy fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals. This formula containing Healthy Bifidobacterium Growth with Inulin can help to support balanced gut flora and colonic function.
|Cinnamon 27™ – Ideal to take after consuming carbohydrates. Cinnamon supports balanced blood sugar levels and normal utilisation of insulin meaning it may benefit those with Diabetes Type 2.