Medicine

Low-carb and high-carb diets associated with early death

Low-carb and high-carb diets associated with early death

They then calculated average caloric intake and the proportion of calories coming from different food groups based on questionnaires the participants completed outlining the types of food and drink they consumed, portion sizes and how often they ate.

The researchers concluded those with the lowest risk of an early death followed a diet made up of 50-55 percent carbohydrates. Those who eat more meat like chicken, lamb and less carbohydrates, their mortality risk tend to be higher than those who get their protein from foods such like avocados, nuts and legumes.

As more and more people are concerned with losing weight, the prevalence of the low-carb diet is increasing. According to the study authors, "many" randomised controlled trials of low carbohydrate diets suggest beneficial weight loss and improvements in cardiometabolic risk. It was deduced that for a healthy lifespan, a moderate amount of carbohydrate is imperative.

"These findings bring together several strands that have been controversial", co-author Walter Willett at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a statement.

The median follow up was 25 years and during this time 6,283 participants died.

According to her, "Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy".

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"This work", he says, "provides the most comprehensive study of carbohydrate intake that has been done to date, and helps us better understand the relationship between the specific components of diet and long-term health".

The results were also combined with seven other studies on carbohydrate intake among people in North American, European and Asian countries, which revealed similar trends in life expectancy. However, mortality risk has typically not been investigated, the researchers noted. They were asked questions about their eating habits.

But experts in the field agree the findings are notable.

"A really important message from this study is that it is not enough to focus on the nutrients, but whether they are derived from animal or plant sources", she added.

Such diets may help prolong life - unlike the diets that replace carbs with animal proteins and fat. This was four years more than those with extreme low-carb diets, 2.3 years more than the low-carb diet grouping and 1.1 more years than the high-carb group.

Written by Meera Senthilingam for CNN.


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