Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Diet Myth

Myth: A diet high in fats, like the Mediterranean diet, is bad for cardiometabolic health.

Truth: This is false.

Although the Mediterranean diet – which promotes high intakes of olive oil and vegetables, moderate intakes of fish, and low intakes of sweets and meats – encourages the intake of high-fat foods like canola, olive fats, and nuts, it is beneficial for cardiometabolic and endocrine health.

High-fat diets have been linked to an increased risk of cardiometabolic syndrome – a group of interrelated factors that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes; however, many studies have shown that the type of fat that is consumed is very influential in this risk. Diets high in trans and saturated fats are linked to poor cardiometabolic health, while diets high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are beneficial to our health and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Since the Mediterranean diet promotes the intake of nuts, canola and olive oil (which contain monounsaturated fats), and fish (which contain polyunsaturated fats), it has been shown that it is beneficial for human health. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that the Mediterranean diet was associated with lower concentrations of triglycerides (fats) and higher concentrations of sex hormone-binding globulin (which is inversely associated with diabetes). This means that the Mediterranean diet is associated with better cardiometabolic and endocrine health.

Read more about the Mediterranean diet and cardiometabolic health here.

Reference

  1. AlEssa HB, Malik VS, Yuan C, et al. Dietary patterns and cardiometabolic and endocrine plasma biomarkers in US women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(2):432-441. doi:10.3945/ajcn.116.143016
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