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Widely promoted guidelines to reduce fat intake could be unhealthy for people in low- and middle-income countries whose diets are already too starchy, researchers said Tuesday.Surprisingly, the findings also challenged assumptions on fat intake: Diets high in fat (35 percent of energy) were linked with a 23 percent lower risk of death compared to low-fat diets (11 percent of energy).Overall, the study found that average diet consists of just over 61 percent carbohydrates, 23.5 percent "good" fat, and 15 percent protein.But these averages hid important regional imbalances: In China, South Asia and Africa, intake of starchy foods was 67, 65 and 63 percent, respectively.A quarter of the 135,000 subjects – mostly in poorer nations – derived more than 70 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates, while half had less than 7 percent saturated fats in their diet.Dehghan and colleagues set out to look for links between diet and cardiovascular disease, which kills some 17 million people around the world each year – 80 percent of them in low- and middle-income countries.
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