Put down that low-fat yoghurt – a new study claims that people with low fat diets could be increasing their risk of early death by almost a quarter.
A Canadian study looked to 135,000 people across 18 countries and found those who eat the least amount of fat actually have higher mortality rates.
Published in the Lancet medical journal, the study found those who cut down on fat tend to replace it with stodgy carbohydrates, meaning their body misses out on essential nutrients.
“The body needs fat. It carries vitamins, it provides essential acids, it has a role in the body,” explains lead researcher Dr Mahshid Dehghan.
“When you reduce fat to very low levels, you're affecting these important minerals.”
According to researcher Dr Andrew Mente, we should be aiming for about 35 percent of our diet coming from fats.
“Our data suggests that low fat diets put populations at increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” says Dr Mente.
“Loosening the restriction on total fat and saturated fat and imposing limits on carbohydrates when high to reduce intake to moderate levels would be optimal.”
Before you go binging on doughnuts, health officials are still warning against too much saturated fat which can be found in foods such as cheese, butter and red meat.
Other experts claim people need to look to the levels of carbohydrates in their diet.
“This study suggests we should perhaps pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrate in our diet than we have in the past and we may need to revise the guidelines,” Professor Jeremy Pearson, of the British Heart Foundation, told the Telegraph.
“What I don’t think people should do is get excited and think ‘I can eat as much saturated fat as I like’."