A recent study has shown that a diet low in fat can benefit postmenopausal women. The effects of a low-fat diet on health are much similar to that of a diet with increased vegetables, fruits, or grain servings.
The results of the study have found that a low-fat diet with more fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. It can reduce deaths from breast cancer, slow the progression of diabetes, and prevent coronary heart disease (CHD). This study is present in The Journal of Nutrition.
The low-fat diet may lead to long-term benefits
The women who are above 45 years of age and had no menstrual cycle for 12 months are menopausal. Due to low estrogen levels after menopause, such women are at more risk of health conditions like heart diseases and osteoporosis.
This study has involved about 49,000 postmenopausal women in the U.S. In these women, the research team has assessed the odds of deaths due to breast cancer, and the risk of CHD, and colorectal cancers, after taking a low-fat diet.
After making a dietary change, the team has followed these postmenopausal women for a period of nine years. The team found that a low-fat diet has no notable effect on these problems. But, after a follow-up for about 20 years, a number of significant health benefits were present in these women.
The WHI’s Dietary Modification Trial has given insights to women related to nutrition and disease for some years. The study has supported the key role of nutrition for better health. And the results have suggested that the diet low in fat, and rich in vegetables, fruits, and grains have several health benefits but no observed harmful effects.
The low-fat diet and a reduction in the risk of chronic diseases
Persistent and modest changes in diet have led to many changes. The number of deaths from all causes following breast cancer reduced by 15 – 35%. The risk of diabetes type 1 decreased by 13 – 25%. While there was a 15 – 30% reduction in CHD among a total of 23,000 women. These women had no baseline hypertension or prior CVD.
In past studies, the research teams have analyzed the link between diet, cancer, and other chronic diseases. In contrast, the team has designed this study as a long term, randomized, and controlled clinical trial. This was done to reduce bias and find causal inferences.
The research team has made planned dietary changes in the study group. While the new concepts about nutrition and therapy or trained nutritionists have taught these changes in the first year. The team has also reinforced these changes for nearly ten years.
The total number of new diets and trends in nutrition can be problematic for people who just want to know what they should eat. While there are a number of diets that lead to short-term positive effects like weight loss. This study has provided proof about the long term health benefits of a low fat diet in postmenopausal women.