A large, 18-country diet study suggests it’s carbs, not fats, that are bad for your health. The research also found that eating fruits, vegetables and legumes can lower your risk of dying prematurely. But three or four servings a day seemed to be plenty. Any additional servings didn’t appear to provide more benefit.
In other words, despite the heart-friendly label on your favorite box of cereal, the contents might actually be doing your cardiovascular health more harm than good.
The global study provides the clearest sign yet that you are what you eat, with experts saying “real foods” such as meat, cheese, eggs and fish provided a significant health boost.
Research on more than 135,000 people showed diets containing moderate amounts of fat, as well as fruit and vegetables, lead to a lower risk of death.
Experts said the best diets will include a balance of carbohydrates and fats – approximately 50-55 per cent carbohydrates and about 35 per cent total fat, including both saturated and unsaturated.
Although the study did not look at trans fats, typically found in processed foods, the evidence remains overwhelmingly clear they are unhealthy.
The study, published in The Lancet, chimes with advice dispensed by campaigning British cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra who has angered health bosses saying “fat is your friend”.
He said: “This is the strongest evidence yet that when it comes to improving population health a low fat, high carbohydrate diet, is harmful.
“As I tell my patients, cutting down on sugar, bread, pasta and rice is the first dietary change that should be implemented to optimize health. The new public health message needs to be: Stop fearing fat and cut out carbs to live longer.”