Everyone knows the importance of a healthy and balanced diet. Diet has been shown to affect weight, diabetes, sleep, cardiovascular disease and even mental health, although much research lacks specific information on the latter. In a new study published in the journal JAMA international Medicine, American researchers even say that poor diet “is the number one killer” in the United States.
To reach this conclusion, Dr. Zhilei Shan, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and his team analyzed the data of more than 37,233 American adults, average age 49.7 years. Data were from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), from 1999 to 2014.
During this period, the researchers noted 4,866 deaths, including 849 related to heart disease and 1,068 to cancer. Using the participants’ NHAES diet reports, they noticed that a healthy low-carb diet (lower amounts of low-quality carbohydrates and higher amounts of vegetable protein and unsaturated fat) and a diet Low fat healthy food (lower amounts of saturated fat and higher amounts of high quality carbohydrates and vegetable proteins) were associated with lower total mortality.
Replace saturated fat with unsaturated fat
In detail, the participants “who obtained a higher overall score (low carb dirt score), indicating a poorer quality diet, were more likely to be older and non-Hispanic white, to have a BMI, a level education, higher income and cholesterol intake, and lower total energy intake, “say the scientists.
“Fats provide more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates and proteins by weight. A diet high in saturated fats is very appetizing and can lead to overeating and obesity,” they explain. And to continue: “Low-quality carbohydrates, such as refined grains and added sugars, have limited nutritional value, and their high glycemic load could be associated with high postprandial glucose and insulin levels, inflammation , insulin resistance and dyslipidemia “.
On the other hand, people who obtained a higher score for a diet low in fat more often than not tended to smoke, to be thinner and to have less cholesterol. In conclusion, “consumption of carbohydrates from refined grains and added sugars has been negatively associated with health outcomes, while consumption of carbohydrates from whole grains, non-starchy vegetables and whole fruits appears to be beneficial, “say the researchers.
Possible conflicts of interest have been declared
If in the past several studies have already been conducted on the links between diet and risk of mortality, none had yet specifically examined how diets low in carbohydrates and fats of different qualities could make the difference.
However, this study has some limitations. Indeed, the researchers could not identify the specific versions of the different low-carbohydrate and fat diets of each participant. In addition, the latter themselves filled out the questionnaires on their diet. Some mistakes could therefore have been made. Finally, some researchers have revealed possible conflicts of interest.
In the United States, nearly 40% of Americans over the age of 20 were obese in 2016 compared to 34% in 2007, according to a study published in March 2018, also in the JAMA. In France, obesity affects 17% of adults. Globally, according to the latest WHO estimates, 13% of the population is affected and unbalanced diets are responsible for one in five adult deaths (22%).
Because obesity is linked to many more or less serious illnesses. It is notably associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hormonal disorders (disruption of menstrual cycles in women), respiratory (sleep apnea for example), cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.), hepatic, renal, and even cancers.
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