Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Low-carb Diets Could Shorten Life, Study Suggests

Low-carb Diets Could Shorten Life, Study Suggests

They found that eating more beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese in place of carbs was linked with a slightly increased risk of death.

'Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy.

The study of over 15,400 people in the USA found that diets both low (40 per cent energy) and high (70 per cent energy) in carbohydrates were linked with an increase in mortality.

Based on the results of the study, they concluded that a 50-year-old person who eats 50-55% carbs out of their whole daily calorie intake could extend their life for another 33.1 years.

It was found that those annoying people who don't eat bread because they are on a low-carb diet and mostly stick to protein and fats from animals, have a higher risk of mortality.

This might be because eating large amounts of animal fat and protein but few fresh plant-based foods can increase inflammation in the body.

Seidelmann, a clinical research fellow in Boston, revealed the added risk of replacing carbs with protein and fats from animals instead of plants.

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First there was high carb, then there was low carb and now there's ... medium carb? This was four years longer than those on a low-carb diet (29 years) and one year longer than those on a high-carb diet (32 years), according to the study.

For the study, published in The Lancet Public Health journal, the team involved 15,428 adults aged between 45 and 64 years.

The study authors noted, however, that the participants' eating habits were self-reported and only assessed at the start of the study and six years later.

The results were like this: People who belonged to approximately 25 years of age group got the 50% energy from carbohydrates has lower amount of death probability.

During a median follow-up of 25 years, 6,283 people died.

Those with high-carb diets even managed to outlive those with low-carb diets by three years, while those with moderate carbohydrate consumption outlived those with low-carb by four years.

'This figure is close to the average carbohydrate consumption by the United Kingdom population observed in dietary surveys.

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"On the other end of the spectrum, high carbohydrate diets, which are common in Asian and less economically advantaged nations, tend to be high in refined carbohydrates, such as white rice", the study says.

Despite these limitations, a U-shaped link between diet and health outcomes seems logical, because "essential nutrients should be consumed above a minimal level to avoid deficiency, and below a maximal level to avoid toxicity", Dr. Andrew Mente and Dr. Salim Yusuf, both of McMaster University and the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Canada, wrote in a commentary accompanying the study.

Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics at King's College London, said: "The authors found higher risk of dying to be linked to diets high in meat and animal fat and low in carbohydrates (similar to some popular low carbohydrate high protein diets)".

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