than the butter

For years, we’ve all been admonished to skip butter and other sources of fat, especially saturated fat. Now, however, it seems that the bread may be riskier than the butter you put on it.

High-Carb vs High-Fat Diets Studied:

Scientists who conducted the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study reported at the European Society of Cardiology meeting that high consumption of carbohydrates was associated with a greater risk of premature death. This goes beyond the now-accepted dictum that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil is heart-healthy.

The scientists collected data on 135,335 adults in 18 countries for more than 7 years. The participants filled out carefully validated questionnaires about their usual diets at the start of the study. The investigators then classified them based on these answers: high, medium or low carbohydrate consumption, high, medium or low fat consumption, polyunsaturated vs. saturated fat consumption.

What Did They Find?

Those whose diets were high in carbohydrates were more likely to perish during the study. On the other hand, higher overall fat consumption was associated with a lower likelihood of dying during the study. People who ate the most saturated fat, in particular, were less likely to suffer strokes.

This unexpected result prompted the authors to suggest that global dietary guidelines should be revised. Although major public health organizations have been urging us all to eat less saturated fat, perhaps now we should worry more about the potatoes or the bread than the butter we spread on them.

Dehghan et al, The Lancet, online Aug 29, 2017

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  1. Gary
    Buffalo, NY

    The PURE study is not pure at all — the findings are heavily biased by poverty status (the poorest people ate the most carbohydrates, which were refined) and because the authors treated all carbohydrates as the same. Just as we know there are good fats and bad fats, we also know that there are good carbs and there are bad carbs.

  2. Marie

    When I was a young girl, there was concern about cranberries. More recently, it has been eggs, butter, tomatoes, and beef. There is always something. All told, it seems that eating food is bad for you, but not eating is worse.

  3. Beverly
    Fort Myers Fl.

    My thoughts aboutut pharmacist being able to switch the brand of armor thyroid your taking without notifing you is unbelievable! Actavis, Teva,Acella and other brands of armor have different compounds plus Forest makers yet of 15 mgs of armor.

    There is no law to prevent pharmacist from changing your prescription to other brands, Time for the FDA to look into this-and if you notice your head shaking-it is time to check aand see if armour thyroid is causing the tremors!

  4. Margaret

    I see nothing here about white bread versus whole wheat. It has become clear that eating highly processed grains is a different proposition than whole grains. I think the distinction should be made in any study.

  5. John
    Croydon, PA

    Walter Willett had done research in the 1990’s that showed that replacing fat with refined carbohydrates was a poor choice. But his ongoing research has still pointed toward limiting saturated fat.

    In a previous article, Peoples Pharmacy referenced a Mortality Study co-authored by Walter Willett, which supported limiting saturated fat. It was a correlational study, and the study that is referenced here is also a correlational study.

    The scientific community will have to sort it out. In the meantime, I will continue to limit saturated fat.

  6. Hank

    I think whole wheat bread, if consumed in moderation, is useful for keeping your bowels “regular”.

    I like the Butternut all whole grain 100% whole wheat bread myself.

  7. Michael

    Looks like Atkins was right all along!

  8. Tony

    Garbage in, garbage out. It is surprising that the Lancet published such poor quality study. There is a difference between nutrient dense carbs and simple carbs that are not.

  9. Betty

    My old German/Irish mother said simply “Eat everything, but eat in moderation.” Good advice, but she died young. So did all of the people before her. It was good advice until I realized that fact. Never mind!

  10. Mary Jane

    I switched to the blood-type diet some years ago, and it has been beneficial. With my Type O, I had to eliminate wheat, and I did, with noticeable results in my joints. I wondered the same thing that Donald is wondering, i.e., we’ve been eating wheat for a long time, and why is it suddenly detrimental? I read, however, that the wheat we consume today is quite different from the wheat of centuries ago. I wonder if the same isn’t true of peanuts and the relatively sudden allergic reaction to peanut butter.

  11. Lionel

    After reading, “Wheat Belly”, I gave up eating wheat to a great extent. I still eat some but only about 20% of what I was eating. I substitute corn tortillas for toast and sandwich bread. It is still carbohydrates but I lost the spare tire around my waist to a large extent.
    Is it the carbs or the wheat?

  12. Barbara Mierzwinski

    It is unfortunate though that high carb foods are the least costly for low income people, like pasta and fast food sandwiches with fries.

    • Tony

      Beans and pulses are cheap and healthy.

  13. Donald

    Here we go again. Yet another food humans have been consuming for millennia is now bad for you. What a bunch of crap!

    • Mary

      They modified the wheat so it IS NOT the same grain we have been eating for millennia. And from what I have read, it leads to more symptoms.
      I am not being fanatical, yet I have never been a big bread eater.
      French bread at a restaurant with real butter? Sometimes
      Garlic bread? Now, not so.

    • Glenda

      Unfortunately today’s bread bears little resemblance to the bread we have been eating ‘for millennia’.

    • Marie

      Most of the foods we eat today have been, in some way, altered via GMO or addition of sugar. NOT the same as years ago!

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