Are carbohydrates and fats bad for your health?

The relationship between carbohydrate and fat intakes and health has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.

The Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study assessed the relationship between carbohydrates, fat and protein, and cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. PURE collected data on over 135,000 adults aged 35 to 70 years in 18 countries (not including Ireland or the United Kingdom). Findings from the study suggest that a higher carbohydrate intake may be associated with an increased risk of mortality. The researchers also reported that higher intakes of fats – saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids – were associated with a lower risk of mortality.

These findings must be interpreted with caution for a number of reasons. The researchers reported that high total carbohydrate intake was associated with increased mortality. They did not analyse the proportion of total carbohydrate coming from processed carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. In a a second paper published by the same team, it is reported that high intakes of fruits, vegetables and legumes were associated with lower mortality. This suggests that refined, processed carbohydrates may be driving the high mortality risk associated with high total carbohydrate intake. Similarly researchers did not identify the different dietary source of fats, dairy products for example, are a major source of fat in the diet but also provide a range of beneficial nutrients.

Evidence continues to support the current dietary guidelines - a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and wholegrain carbohydrates, and low in processed carbohydrates and saturated fat.   


Posted: 31/08/2017 10:40:54 by Anne Parle
Filed under: Carbohydrates, Cardiovascular disease, Fat, Fruits, Mortality, Processed carbohydrates, Saturated fat, Vegetables


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