Stroke risk upped by kind of fat, not amount, study shows


If you are reaching out for a delicious hamburger or a juicy steak, you might want to think twice or thrice about it, as the results of a recent study showed that eating more animal fat was linked to a higher risk of stroke. The silver lining in this dark cloud for those who like fatty foods was that the risk was reduced if people got fat from plant sources, according to a Monday report by NBC News.

Nutritionists and dietitians have always affirmed that vegetable fats were less risky to consume and a large study has confirmed this. The data has been gleaned from two of the largest and longest-running studies of nutritional data in the nation. The studies collate data of more 117,000 health professionals for 27 years from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.

The study reported that a higher intake of fat as vegetable oil was linked with a lower risk of ischemic stroke. It also found that those who ate polyunsaturated fats in the form of vegetable and olive oils had a 12 percent less chance of a stroke when compared to those who ate the least. Those who ate the largest amounts of animal fats from products including red meat as well as processed meat had a 16 percent higher chance of getting a stroke than those who ate the least.

Another takeaway from the study was that dairy fat was not associated with the risk of stroke. The study has not as yet been peer reviewed.

Fenglei Wang the lead of the study, who is also a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health suggested that everyone could make small modifications in their diet by reducing the amount of red meat and processed meat to gain large benefits.

Shifting to a plant-based diet would have good implications for health but it should be emphasized that these should be in the form of whole foods such as lentils and beans and healthy oils such as olive oil and vegetable oils rather than plant-based meats that contain large amounts of sugar, salt and saturated fats.


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