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.