The backlash against carbohydrates has struck again.
A major new study suggested cutting fat out of your diet may not be as good for you as conventional wisdom suggests but the conclusions being jumped to are misleading.
After tracking the eating habits of more than 135,000 participants over a seven-year period, across 18 countries, researchers found that those with the highest intake of dietary fat (35 percent of daily calories) were associated with a lower risk of death.
While those with the highest intake of carbs (77 percent of daily calories) were more likely to have died than those with the lowest intake.
Does this mean that carbohydrates are sending us to an early grave?
Before you ditch the bread, pasta and potatoes, turns out the findings of this study are actually fairly consistent with what we already know.
The study is not so much an endorsement of low-carb diets, but only a question mark on very high carbohydrate consumption.
Nutrition Scientist, Dr. Tim Crowe and founder of Thinking Nutrition, reports we’re hardly killing ourselves slowly with a high carbohydrate diet.
“In Australia, we sit at 43.5 percent energy from carbohydrate. But unfortunately, a lot of those carbohydrates are highly refined and we have too much added sugar in our diet. To add to this, only 6 percent of us eat enough vegetables each day,” adds Crowe.
Current dietary guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend a low-fat diet (less than 30 percent of calories) with less than 10 percent coming from saturated sources (such as butter, full-fat dairy and takeaway foods), and a carbohydrate intake between 55 and 75 percent of daily intake with less than 10 percent of free sugars.
The researchers stress the study is not advocating a low carb or high fat diets. “The best diets will include a balance of carbohydrates and fats — approximately 50-55 percent carbohydrates and around 35 percent total fat, including both saturated and unsaturated fats,” says leader author, Dr. Mahshid Dehghan.
“My hope is that our results will stop the whole population from feeling guilty if they eat fat in moderation,” said Salim Yusuf, another author on the study.
What happens when you cut carbs
Carbs are brain food providing the glucose our brains need to function at it’s peak. Run low, your brain will turn to mush and you won’t remember where you put your keys. They’re also essential for exercising muscles, delaying the onset of fatigue.