The type of saturated fats we consume can put us at risk of a heart attack, according to a new study suggesting that eating plant-based proteins can decrease chances of the disease instead.
The study showed that people whose diets contain relatively little palmitic and stearic acid — saturated fats composed of 16 or more carbon atoms (longer-chain saturated fats) that are typically found in meats can affect our risk of a myocardial infarction or heart attack.
Moreover, individuals who eat more saturated fats with 14 or fewer carbon atoms (shorter-chain saturated fats) that are typically found in dairy products have lower risk of heart attacks.
“Our analysis of the diets of large groups of individuals in two countries over time shows that the type of saturated fats we consume could affect our cardiovascular heath,” explained lead author Ivonne Sluijs, postdoctoral student at the Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
For the study data from approximately 75,000 people were analysed by the team among which nearly 3,500 people experienced heart attack.
“We found that eating relatively little of the longer chained saturated fatty acids and consuming plant-based proteins instead was associated with a lowered risk. Substitution of those saturated fats with other energy sources such as carbohydrates did not affect the risk to develop myocardial infarction,” said Sluijs.
Although diets vary by nationality and other factors, the most frequently consumed saturated fat is palmitic acid, with 16 carbon atoms, followed by stearic acid, with 18 carbon atoms, both of which are found in meat products, as per the study published in the International Journal of Cardiology.
Shifts in fat intake should align with the recommended healthy dietary patterns, which emphasise limited intakes of red and processed meat and added sugars, lower salt intake, replacement of refined grains with whole grains, and higher consumption of fruits and vegetables, the team suggested.
China coronavirus toll reaches 908, 40,171 infected
Beijing: The death toll due to the novel coronavirus in China on Monday increased to 908, with 40,171 confirmed cases, the country’s National Health Commission said.
Until midnight, 6,484 severe cases had been recorded while 3,281 people, who had recovered from the illness, had been discharged, Efe news reported citing the Commission as saying.
As of now, 399,487 patients in close contact with the infected have been traced, out of which 187,518 are under observation, according to the Chinese agency.
Among those under observation, 23,589 were suspected of having contracted the virus.
The latest figures indicate an increase of 97 deaths over the previous day – when 632 people were also discharged – and 3,062 new infections.
Of the 97 deaths, 91 were recorded in Hubei province, whose capital is Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak -, and which has been under de facto quarantine since January 23.
It total, 2,618 of the 3,062 new coronavirus cases have been detected in Hubei.
Until now, all deaths but one – which occurred in the Philippines – have been in China, which accounts for about 99 per cent of those infected, although about 20 countries have confirmed cases.
The virus has already claimed more lives than the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003.
Despite both the novel coronavirus and SARS originating in China, the geographical distribution of deaths is radically different.
SARS emerged in the southern Guangzhou province, while the coronavirus appears to have originated from a seafood market in the central-eastern city of Wuhan.
With SARS, 349 people died in mainland China, 299 in Hong Kong, 43 in Canada, 37 in Taiwan and 33 in Singapore, to mention only the most affected places, according to the figures from WHO.
Coronavirus has spread to at least 27 other countries and territories.