According to new research, low-fat diets could raise your risk of early death by almost a quarter.
The study of more than 135,000 people across five continents has shown that a diet that includes a moderate intake of fat, alongside fruits and vegetables and avoidance of high carbohydrates, is associated with lower risk of death.
And contrary to popular belief, consuming a higher amount of fat (about 35% of energy) was found to be associated with a lower risk of death compared to lower intakes.
However, a diet high in carbohydrates (of more than 60% of energy) is related to higher mortality, according to the findings.
The results are taken from two reports published in The Lancet, both produced from a major global study led by researchers at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) of McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Hamilton, Canada.
The study asked people about their diet and followed them for an average of seven and half years.
The research on dietary fats found that they are not associated with major cardiovascular disease, but higher fat consumption was associated with lower mortality.
This result was seen for all major types of fats (saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats and mono unsaturated fats), with saturated fats also being associated with lower stroke risk.
Total fat and individual types of fat were not associated with risk of heart attacks or death due to cardiovascular disease.
The researchers point out that, while this may appear surprising to some, these new results are consistent with several studies conducted in Western countries during the last two decades.