Carbohydrates have more of an adverse impact on cardiovascular risk factors said researchers. They have advice as well that might surprise many related to fruits and vegetables.
Researchers said that carbs have a negative impact that is greater than fat on heart health. That conclusion came from the study Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology or PURE.
The PURE study examined eating habits of over 125,000 people across 18 nations.
Researchers said their findings showed that carbohydrates, not fat, have a more adverse impact on the risk factors related to cardiovascular health.
The project observed people from a range of different geographic and economical walks of life. The data gathered was during a period of 10 years between 2003 and 2013.
Researchers said that the ideal diet would have between 50% and 55% carbohydrates, with 35% fat. The type of fat was determined to be very important.
Monounsaturated fats like the ones in nuts, avocados and olive oil contain beneficial properties, while saturated fats that often can be found in red meat have neutral effect on the cardiovascular health said the researchers.
However, this study by PURE has limitations. The authors said that in many areas of low income, carbohydrates found in bread, beans and rice are very common.
The focus at this time is promoting diets that are low-fat but ignores the fact most people have diets in countries that are low and middle income that are extremely high in carbs, which seem to link to worse outcomes of health, wrote the researchers.
In countries with low and middle income, where diets often consist of over 65% of energy received from carbohydrates, the guidelines must refocus attention toward lowering the intake of carbs rather than focusing on lowering fats.
As with different fats, the quality and types of carbs can vary, depending upon availability.
For example, whole grains are far healthier than processed items such as pasta and white bread. In areas where low income is present, food quality must also be considered.
Researchers said that people should eat fats instead of carbohydrates of low quality. Those that have diabetes must be aware of that as fats have little impact on blood sugar and insulin, while refined carbs could have dramatic effects.
Beyond carbs and fats, researchers also found that you can have too much of a good thing. They recommend three to four servings of each per day and no more of vegetables and fruits.