A national study recently revealed telling facts regarding low-fat diets and their benefits relating to cancer and heart disease. A study concluded by the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) and Stanford University noted that a low-fat diet, alone, is not enough to greatly reduce the risk of heart disease and/or cancer in adult women. Researchers have found that a reduction in saturated and trans fats may provide more positive results.
The study showed that women who participate in a low-fat diet experienced a 9% reduction in the development of breast cancer. In addition, no significant changes were noted in the occurrence of heart disease. An impressive 49,000 females, ranging in age from 50 to 79, participated in what is known as the America’s largest long-term study of a low-fat diet to ever be noted. The research was conducted over a period of eight years, in which the experts planned to test the theory that low-fat diets were helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Among the 49,000 subjects, 40% were assigned to a low-fat diet, which required that they reduce their fat intake to 20% of their total calorie intake. In addition, they were to eat fruits and vegetables on five or more instances throughout the day, along with six servings of grain. The remaining 60% of participants were designated as the comparison group and were instructed to maintain their eating habits as always.
Women’s Health Initiative experts, however, noted that a number of low-fat diet participants did not meet the 20% fat intake goal. In a recent news report released from Stanford University, experts conveyed that women who wish to maintain their health should consider a diet that is both low in saturated and trans fats while being rich in fiber and vegetables. This diet would replace one that is geared solely toward the intake of low-fat foods.
“Just switching to low-fat foods is not likely to yield much health benefit in most women,” commented Marcia Stefanick, PhD, professor of medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and chair of the Women’s Health Initiative steering committee. “Rather than trying to eat low-fat, women should focus on reducing saturated fats and trans fats.”
In addition to any diet program, regular exercise and health screenings should be used for early detection and the most effective treatment.
The information in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be considered as, or used in place of, medical advice or professional recommendations for diet and/or exercise regimens. Every individual should consult his/her physician prior to beginning any program consisting of diet and/or exercise.