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Saturated fat should be no more than 10 percent of diet : WHO

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Issuing a new guidelines on Friday, the World Health Organization has said that saturated fats shouldn’t make up more than 10 percent of a person’s diet.

WHO, which is launching the initiative because cardiovascular diseases, said that the new guidelines are part of an attempt to reduce deaths from cardiovascular diseases. Around one-third of all 54.7 million deaths worldwide in 2016 were from cardiovascular diseases as per the reports.

In its first draft guidelines on fat intake, the UN health agency said to avoid piling on the pounds, both adults and children should ensure that no more than 10 percent of their calories come from saturated fat. That type of fat is found butter, milk, meat, eggs and chocolate, among other items.

“Modifiable risk factors such as unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol are major causes of CVDs,” the WHO said in a press release. “Dietary saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids are of particular concern as high levels of intake are correlated with increased risk of CVDs.”

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WHO said only 1 percent or less of calories should be from transfats, commonly found in baked and fried foods, processed foods and cooking oils.

Before the guidelines are approved, WHO is seeking public comment on them starting Friday, and running through June 1. An external expert group will also provide a peer-review of the guidelines before they are finalized.

In a daily diet of 2,500 calories, 10 percent comes out out to about 25 grams of saturated fat.

Among commonly-eaten foods, 3 ounces of regular ground beef contains 6.1 grams of saturated fat, fried chicken contains 3.3 grams, fried fish contains 2.8 grams, a regular slice of cheese contains 6 grams, 1 cup of 1 percent fat milk contains 4.6 grams and 1 teaspoon of butter contains 2.4 grams.

With Agency Inputs

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Regular bedtime beneficial for heart and metabolic health among older adults

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Sufficient sleep has been proven to help keep the body healthy and the mind sharp. But a new study on sleep patterns has suggested that a regular bedtime and wake time are just as important for heart and metabolic health among older adults too.

Researchers at Duke Health and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, in a study of 1,978 older adults, have found that people with irregular sleep patterns weighed more, had higher blood sugar, higher blood pressure, and a higher projected risk of having a heart attack or stroke within 10 years than those who slept and woke at the same times every day.

The study  was published Sept 21 in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From our study, we can’t conclude that sleep irregularity results in health risks, or whether health conditions affect sleep,” said study’s lead author Jessica Lunsford-Avery.

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“Perhaps all of these things are impacting each other.”

African-Americans had the most irregular sleep patterns compared to participants who were white, Chinese-American or Hispanic, the data showed.

Still, the data suggest tracking sleep regularity could help identify people at risk of disease, and where health disparities may impact specific groups.

Irregular sleepers were also more likely to report depression and stress than regular sleepers, both of which are tied to heart health.

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