WEDNESDAY, Sept. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A low-fat dietary pattern provides lasting health benefits, according to a study published in the September issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Ross L. Prentice, Ph.D., from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues examined long-term health outcomes in the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification (DM) trial, which was conducted at 40 centers in the United States among 48,835 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years. Participants were randomly assigned to either a low-fat dietary intervention or a usual diet comparison group.

The researchers found that compared with the comparison group, during a median intervention period of 8.5 years, the intervention group had an 8 to 10 percent lower fat intake, an 8 to 10 percent higher carbohydrate intake, and a higher consumption of vegetables, fruit, and grains. No significant differences were seen between the groups for invasive breast cancer, colorectal cancer, or coronary heart disease (CHD) during the intervention period or longer-term follow-up in time-to-outcome analyses. In additional analyses, significant intervention-group benefits were seen in relation to breast cancer, CHD, and diabetes, without adverse effects. During a 19.6-year median follow-up period, the hazard ratios were 0.84 for breast cancer followed by death and 0.87 for diabetes requiring insulin.

“The latest results support the role of nutrition in overall health, and indicate that low-fat diets rich in fruits, vegetables and grains have health benefits without any observed adverse effect,” Prentice said in a statement.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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