This year, more than 610,000 Americans will die from heart disease. It’s the leading cause of death for both men and women.
For decades, doctors and nutritionists prescribed low-fat diets to people trying to lower their risk of heart disease. Saturated fats in meats and dairy products were thought to clog our arteries. Grains — especially “whole” ones — were thought to help everything from high cholesterol to digestion.
A growing body of research suggests this advice was wrong. For most people, it’s carbohydrates, not fats, that are the true cause of heart disease.
Consider a report published last year in The Lancet that studied nutrition among more than 135,000 people across 18 different countries — making it the largest-ever observational study of its kind. The researchers found that people who ate the least saturated fat — about the same amount currently recommended for heart patients — had the highest rates of heart disease and mortality. Meanwhile, people who consumed the most saturated fat had the lowest rate of strokes.