Low-Fat Diets Cut Multicause Mortality in Middle-Aged, Older Adults

In HealthDay News
by Healthday

In contrast, unhealthy low-carbohydrate diets tied to increased mortality

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, May 8, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Low-fat diets (LFDs) cut mortality risk in middle-aged and older adults, according to a study published online May 3 in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Yimin Zhao, from the School of Public Health at Peking University in Beijing, and colleagues used data from 371,159 participants (aged 50 to 71 years; followed for a median 23.5 years) to evaluate long-term associations between low-carbohydrate diets (LCDs) and LFDs with mortality.

The researchers found that participants in the highest quintiles of overall LCD scores and unhealthy LCD scores had significantly higher risks for total and cause-specific mortality (hazard ratios, 1.12 to 1.18), while a healthy LCD was associated with marginally lower total mortality (hazard ratio, 0.95). The highest quintile of a healthy LFD versus the lowest was associated with significantly lower total mortality by 18 percent, cardiovascular mortality by 16 percent, and cancer mortality by 18 percent. Isocaloric replacement of 3 percent of energy from saturated fat with other macronutrients was associated with significantly lower total and cause-specific mortality. Mortality was significantly reduced after replacement of low-quality carbohydrates with plant protein and unsaturated fat.

“Our results support the importance of maintaining a healthy LFD with less saturated fat in preventing all-cause and cause-specific mortality among middle-aged and older people,” the authors write.

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