From Science Daily:

Focus on low-fat diets and lack of differentiation between healthy and unhealthy fat has led to ‘paradoxical policies’ about healthy eating.

Eating a non-calorie restricted Mediterranean diet high in vegetable fats such as olive oil or nuts does not lead to significant weight gain compared to a low-fat diet, according to a large randomised trial published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal. The study suggests that current health guidelines that recommend a low-fat, low-calorie diet create unnecessary fear of healthy fats present in a Mediterranean diet, which have known health benefits.

Accumulating scientific evidence suggests that total fat content is not a useful measure of harms or benefits of food, and that fats from nuts, fish and phenolic-rich vegetable oils are healthier than fats from meat and processed foods.

“More than 40 years of nutritional policy has advocated for a low-fat diet but we’re seeing little impact on rising levels of obesity,” says lead author Dr Ramon Estruch, CIBER OBN-University of Barcelona, Spain. “Our study shows that a Mediterranean diet rich in vegetable fats such as olive oil and nuts had little effect on bodyweight or waist circumference compared to people on a low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet has well-known health benefits and includes healthy fats such as vegetable oils, fish and nuts. Our findings certainly do not imply that unrestricted diets with high levels of unhealthy fats such as butter, processed meat, sweetened beverages, deserts or fast-foods are beneficial.”

Obesity is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease,…

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