How Does Low Carb Diet Affect Life Expectancy?
A so-called low-carb diet has been used by many people in recent years to lose weight and achieve a healthy body weight. Researchers have now found that a low-carbohydrate diet can shorten life expectancy by up to four years.
The scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found in their recent research that a low-carb diet can significantly shorten life expectancy. The physicians published the results of their study in the English-language journal "The Lancet Public Health".
A low-carb diet often replaces carbohydrates with more meat. But people should try better to replace the carbohydrates with vegetable sources. (Image: lieselfuchs / fotolia.com)
The study had 15,400 subjects
Low carb diets have become increasingly popular for weight loss in recent times. However, a modest reduction in carbohydrate consumption or the change from meat to vegetable protein and fats seems to be healthier than a low-carb diet, the current US study found. 15,400 participants completed questionnaires about the food and drink they consumed, as well as serving sizes. The scientists then estimated the amount of calories consumed by carbohydrate, fat and protein participants.
What were the sources of carbohydrates?
The researchers found that those who consumed 50-55% of their carbohydrate-derived energy (moderate intake) had a slightly lower risk of death than those in groups that consumed very little carbohydrate or carbohydrate. Subjects sourced carbohydrates from vegetables, fruits and sugar, but the main source was starchy foods such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals.
How Does Moderate Carbohydrate Consumption Affect?
The researchers estimated that from the age of 50, the pobands of the moderate carbohydrate intake group would live on average for another 33 years. This was four years more than when compared to people who consumed 30 percent or less of their carbohydrate energy. They also lived two to three years longer than the participants, who consumed 30 to 40 percent of their carbohydrate intake and 1.1 years longer than those with 65 percent or more carbs.
Replace carbohydrates with vegetable proteins and fats
The scientists then compared a low-carbohydrate diet rich in animal proteins and fats to a diet that contained much vegetable protein and fat. They found that consuming more beef, lamb, pork, chicken, and cheese instead of carbohydrates was associated with a slightly increased risk of death. Replacing carbohydrates with more vegetable proteins and fats, such as legumes and nuts, easily reduces the mortality risk.
Low carb diets that substitute protein or fat for carbohydrates are gaining in popularity, Dr. Study author Dr. Sara Seidelmann from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. However, the data suggest that an animal-based low-carbohydrate diet is associated with a shorter overall lifespan. Therefore, it should be discouraged, emphasizes the expert. By contrast, the replacement of carbohydrates with more vegetable fats and proteins promotes healthy aging over the long term.
Carbohydrate-rich nutrition on the Western model is unhealthy
The authors assume that the carbohydrate-rich Western-style diet often results in lower intake of vegetables, fruits and grains and also includes higher consumption of animal proteins and fats, which is associated with inflammation and aging in the body.
It is important to note where our nutrients come from
A really important message of this study is that it is not enough to focus on the nutrients, but it must also be taken into account whether they come from animal or vegetable sources. Reducing carbohydrate intake in the diet and replacing it with vegetable fat and protein sources results in health benefits. However, these benefits are not observed when they are replaced by sources of animal origin such as meat. (As)