Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Healthy Diets Need Fat, According To New Study

Date:
April 24, 1998
Source:
University Of Michigan
Summary:
As the U.S. Department of Agriculture begins to establish new dietary guidelines for the year 2000, a new University of Michigan study suggests low fat diets aren't always the most healthy.

ANN ARBOR---As the U.S. Department of Agriculture begins to establish new dietary guidelines for the year 2000, a new University of Michigan study suggests low fat diets aren't always the most healthy.

"Fat is back,'' said Adam Drewnowski, director of the Human Nutrition Program at the U-M School of Public Health. While most nutrition experts continue to recommend low-fat diets that are high in vegetables and fruit, dieters are making the most of meat, chocolate and ice cream. The latest diets for weight loss have skipped starches in favor of more protein and fat, but all is not lost.

"Diversity and variety contribute as much to diet quality as does low fat content,'' Drewnowski said. "A monotonous diet of two or three low-fat foods may do wonders for your cholesterol levels, but will do nothing for your mental health or your quality of life. The premier U.S.D.A. recommendation is to enjoy a variety of foods. That is the one guideline that we should follow.

"As nutrition experts, we should recognize that some fat in the diet is not necessarily a bad thing."

Drewnowski will present his research findings on Tuesday (April 21) at the Experimental Biology Meeting in San Francisco.

He and a team of U-M researchers, including Dr. E.C. Chung, a visiting scholar from Korea, recently explored new ways to measure diet quality. They examined the overall diet of men and women in the United States based on diet diversity (consuming foods from the five major food groups), variety (total number of foods consumed per day) and moderation (following U.S.D.A. food guidelines). The team examined the eating habits of 1,637 men and 1,576 women over two days. The statistics were taken from the 1995 Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals by the U.S.D.A. They compared those results with a 1995-96 study in Paris that examined the eating dietary habits of the 5,000 French adults.

French men and women ate more foods higher in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than Americans did. The typical French diet met few of the U.S.D.A. recommendations for healthy eating. The study concluded that 99 percent of the French women derived more than 10 percent of their calories from saturated fat and yet the French have fewer cases of heart disease and are less obese than Americans.

The consumption of fat in the French diet was balanced by greater dietary diversity and variety. "The low-fat approach is very good, but not if it comes at the expense of dietary variety," Drewnowski said.

The U.S.D.A. recommends that Americans eat a variety of foods. Drewnowski found that those people who had more diversity in their diets, consumed more calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and fiber. Typically, men had more diverse diets than women did. Elderly women consumed the least fat and had much less diverse diets. Only one in 10 men and one in 16 women consumed at least one serving of each of the five good groups: meat, dairy, grains, vegetables and fruits over two days.

The U-M researchers also discovered that eating a variety of foods is associated with extra costs. The study showed that those who subscribed to more varied diets tended to be older and richer. "The fact that greater dietary variety is associated with higher incomes is troubling. The challenge then to public health nutritionists is how to issue dietary guidelines in a way that a healthy diet is accessible to all regardless of income," Drewnowski said.

The U.S.D.A. is currently forming an advisory committee that will begin its review of food guidelines this fall.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Michigan. "Healthy Diets Need Fat, According To New Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 April 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm>.
University Of Michigan. (1998, April 24). Healthy Diets Need Fat, According To New Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm
University Of Michigan. "Healthy Diets Need Fat, According To New Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/04/980424031929.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Study Links Male-Pattern Baldness To Prostate Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) New findings suggest men with a certain type of baldness at age 45 are 39 percent more likely to develop aggressive prostate cancer. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins