How it matters: If low carbohydrates or low fat is an ideal formula for healthy nutrition, it's not. In order for us to eat more carbohydrates or fats, play a lesser role in health than most people assume, as researchers report. Instead, the type of fat consumed is crucial. But their survey also shows that people with certain metabolic disorders can actually be recommended a high fat, carbohydrate diet.
© Julija Dmitrijeva / istock
What diet is the healthiest? While some swear in non-fat, others trust low carbohydrates, Mediterranean diet or stone age foods. Some of these philosophies contradict very basic assumptions, for example, as to whether fat is unhealthy or fits. This confuses many people who want to eat as healthy as possible.
Researchers at David Ludwig at Harvard Medical School in Boston have also acknowledged this problem and were looking for a solution. They wondered: Is not it necessary to reach a scientific consensus on how much fat is actually recommended?
The amount is not so important
To this end, a team of experts from different disciplines and partly with different perspectives put down and evaluated previous facts about the subject. The result is a set of basic guidelines that scientists believe may serve as a formula for healthy nutrition.
Specifically, they come to the following conclusions: If low carbohydrate or low fat appears to be less crucial than is often assumed. "Current data suggest that there is no ideal relationship between fat and carbohydrates in nutrition that is ideal for everyone," the researchers say. "In addition, no diet or calorie source has the same metabolic effects in all humans."
A healthy body weight and low risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and awareness that most people can achieve with a large number of Carb-Fat conditions.
Trans fat is taboo
However, one exception is individuals with insulin resistance typical of type 2 diabetes and its precursors. These patients, according to the results, may benefit especially from a low fat carbohydrate fat diet. The same applies to patients with glucose intolerance as well as to persons whose body produces too much insulin.
Overall, the type of fat consumed seems to be more important than the amount. For example, saturated fatty acids should be replaced with unsaturated, as Ludwig and his colleagues emphasize. And: "Manufactured trans fats are harmful and should be banned from diet," they write.
Put on whole grains
In addition, they are less surprising recommendations for a healthy diet: to consume as little sugar as possible and replace refined, highly processed carbohydrates with full-bodied options. In other words: Instead of wheat flour, polished rice, table sugar and Co, whole grains, fruits and vegetables should end up on the plate.
According to the researchers, these principles provide a good foundation. Still, there are still a lot of details in further studies. For example, do different conditions of carbohydrates to fats affect the composition of the body tissue, regardless of calorie intake?
How accurate can the metabolism of diabetics benefit from a ketogenic diet? And what fat composition is optimal for those people who eat extremely low carbohydrate? "If we find the answers to these questions, we can derive further nutritional recommendations," concludes the team. (Science, 2018; doi: 10.1126 / science.aau2096)
(Harvard T.H., Chan School of Public Health, 16.11.2018 – DAL)