Low Fat Diet :: Low fat diets may not cut cancer, heart attack risk

Low-fat diets may not cut the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer and heart disease in older women, new studies suggest.

The eight-year study of nearly 49,000 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 found that those who ate low-fat diets were at the same risk of heart disease and cancer as those who ate usual high-fat diets.

Low-fat diets were defined in the study as those with 20 percent of energy from fat. The low-fat group was instructed to cut fat intake to 20 percent of total calories and to eat at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and six of grains. The control group was allowed to eat whatever they wanted.

In the end, both groups had about the same occurrence of colorectal cancer, stroke, and heart disease. The women in the low-fat-diet group reduced their overall rate of breast cancer by 9 percent compared to women in the control group, a difference not considered statistically significant.

Experts agree that women should focus more on the type than the amount of fat they eat. Saturated and trans-fats, which found in processed foods, meats and some dairy products, are known to raise the risk of heart disease, maybe cancer too.

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