Repeat this mantra: Eating fat won’t make you fat. In fact, getting nearly most of your calories from healthy fats is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
A recent review of 53 studies of the Mediterranean diet, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week, concluded that “a lot of fat” is very, very good for you.
“It’s OK to have up to 40 per cent of your daily calories from these ‘healthy fats,’” Dr. Hanna Bloomfield, the lead researcher, told The Daily News.
The review defined the Mediterranean diet as having no restrictions on fat, with a high ratio of monosaturated-to-saturated fat: think salmon, seeds, oils, eggs and avocado.
(Sorry guys, but sizzling, ultra-saturated bacon fat won’t help you out here).
It also included a high fruit, vegetable and legume intake, high grain and cereal intake, moderate red-wine consumption, moderate dairy and low meat consumption, and plenty of fish and seafood.
Researchers found that the Mediterranean diet — and particularly one that had plenty of fat — was associated with a lower risk of “cardiovascular events,” a.k.a, heart attacks and strokes.
It also positively correlated with a lower risk of breast cancer and type-2 diabetes. If all that weren’t enough, those who stuck to a Mediterranean diet were 14 per cent (!) less likely to die from cancer than those who didn’t.
“It turns out that the obesity epidemic in this country is probably more due to our increased consumption of refined grains and added sugar and not so much from our fat consumption,” said Bloomfield.
She offered a list of very sensible recommendations for a healthy diet based on the study.
“You should cook with olive or canola oil, limit your intake of red meat to a few times a week, refrain from products with added sugar or refined carbohydrates (think soda and most commercial baked goods), and supplement your diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes (beans, peas),” she said.