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Study of 135K Individuals Concludes High Carb Diet Linked to Higher Mortality


Here's something to make you reconsider that bowl of pasta. The largest global study looking at environmental, societal and biological influences on obesity and chronic health conditions just released their findings, and it doesn't look good for carb-based diets.

Led by co-investigators Drs. Salim Yusuf and Koon Teo at McMaster University, this mega study of over 135,000 individuals in 18 countries compared the consumption of carbohydrates, fats and proteins against mortality and general health over the course of about 10 years. Data was collected through participant questionnaires, with individuals additionally undergoing a physical assessment consisting of blood pressure, anthropometric measures (weight, height, waist and hip), body fat percentage (BIA and DEXA measures), spirometry, electrocardiogram, a fasting blood sample and urine sample. Participants were followed up with telephone contacts occurring annually and reassessments every 3 years.

Here's what they found:

Higher carbohydrate intake was associated with an increased risk of total mortality (highest [quintile 5] vs lowest quintile [quintile 1] category, HR 1·28 [95% CI 1·12–1·46], ptrend=0·0001) but not with the risk of cardiovascular disease or cardiovascular disease mortality. Intake of total fat and each type of fat was associated with lower risk of total mortality (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, total fat: HR 0·77 [95% CI 0·67–0·87], ptrend<0·0001; saturated fat, HR 0·86 [0·76–0·99], ptrend=0·0088; monounsaturated fat: HR 0·81 [0·71–0·92], ptrend<0·0001; and polyunsaturated fat: HR 0·80 [0·71–0·89], ptrend<0·0001). Higher saturated fat intake was associated with lower risk of stroke (quintile 5 vs quintile 1, HR 0·79 [95% CI 0·64–0·98], ptrend=0·0498). Total fat and saturated and unsaturated fats were not significantly associated with risk of myocardial infarction or cardiovascular disease mortality.

In short: high carbohydrate diets were associated with higher risk of mortality. Total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality. 

More about the study here

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