High fat diets are associated with a lower risk of mortality than high carbohydrate diets, a new study has found.

A team of scientists studied the diets and mortality of more than 135,000 people across 18 counties and found that those with high carbohydrate intake had a higher risk of mortality than those with high fat diets.

The study, which has been published in The Lancet, found people with the highest 20 per cent intake of total fat – getting around a third of their calories from fate – had about 23 per cent reduced risk of death compared to those with the lowest 20 per cent of fat intake.

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Consuming more fat, whether that was saturated, polyunsaturated or monounsaturated were all associated with lower mortality.

Higher fat diets also appeared to lower the risk of having a stroke.

The study also found that compared to those taking in the lowest 20 per cent of carbohydrates, those who ate the highest 20 per cent had a 28 per cent increased risk of death.

“Guidelines recommend low saturated fat, and some recommend really low amounts,” said a co-author, Andrew Mente, an epidemiologist at McMaster University in Ontario, told the New York Times.

“Our study, which captures intake at the lowest levels, shows that this may be harmful.”

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