Study Says “Healthy Eating” Means “Healthy Fats”

“Low-fat” has been the battle cry of the health-conscious for over ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌thirty years.

But could fat – the right kind, that is – actually be a benefit? A new study in PLOS Medicine seems to think so.

What Did They Find?

The study was led by Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Medford, MA, and Fumiaki Imamura, of the Medical Research Council (MRC) Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. They analyzed data for 4,660 adults, looking over the carbohydrate and fat quantities in their meals and monitoring how these factors influences the development of type 2 diabetes.

The results were, to many, surprising: "Among different fats, the most consistent benefits were seen for increasing polyunsaturated fats, in place of either carbohydrates or saturated fat,” said Imamura. In fact, these results revealed that a diet rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can help improve blood sugar control.

The message, team said in a press release, is simple: “Don’t fear the healthy fats.”

What Should We Eat?

With new research comes a total overhaul of the common American's diet. But how do we know which foods have the right fats for us? Dr. Mozaffarian says:

"Our findings support preventing and treating these diseases by eating more fat-rich foods like walnuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, flaxseed, fish, and other vegetable oils and spreads, in place of refined grains, starches, sugars, and animal fats."

Of course, other medical experts still suggest you be careful with your dietary preferences, and you continue to include exercise, such as brisk walking, as part of your daily routine.

When it comes to keeping healthy, it turns out that few things are off limits; the real key is making the right choices.

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