Fat, even lots of it, can be healthy, according to a new study.
But before you decide to eat a bacon cheeseburger, researchers say the fat has to be consumed as a part of a Mediterranean diet, which is heavy on fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish, while light on the meat and dairy. The diet does make room for fats, as long as they’re from olive oil, nuts, avocados, eggs or fatty fish.
The research said that even consuming high amounts of fat as a part of a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes.
“People who consume a Mediterranean diet with no restriction on fat intake have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes,” said lead researcher Dr. Hanna Bloomfield.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heart disease is the leading cause of death among American adults. Cancer is the second leading cause.
Bloomfield added that a Mediterranean diet can help fight cancer by lowering total cancer mortality as well as reducing the risk of colo-rectal and lung cancers.
The study, which reviewed results of more than 300 previous studies on the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine.