Low-carb diets could shorten life, study suggests – BBC News

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Low-carb diets could shorten life

Low-carb diets could shorten lifeThe diet advice yo-yo continues… now low-carb diets could shorten life. The “evil” carb may not be so evil after all, especially when compared to a diet high in animal products.

Low-carb diets, such as Atkins, have become increasingly popular for weight loss and have shown promise for lowering the risk of some illnesses.

But a US study over 25 years indicates that moderate carb consumption – or switching meat for plant-based protein and fats – is healthier.

The study relied on people remembering the amount of carbohydrates they ate.

In the study, published in The Lancet Public Health, 15,400 people from the US filled out questionnaires on the food and drink they consumed, along with portion sizes.

From this, scientists estimated the proportion of calories they got from carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

After following the group for an average of 25 years, researchers found that those who got 50-55% of their energy from carbohydrates (the moderate carb group and in line with UK dietary guidelines) had a slightly lower risk of death compared with the low and high-carb groups.

The scientists then compared low-carb diets rich in animal proteins and fats with those that contained lots of plant-based protein and fat.

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

But replacing carbohydrates with more plant-based proteins and fats, such as legumes and nuts, was actually found to slightly reduce the risk of mortality.

Graph showing risk of death and carbohydrate diets

For more information please see original article: Low-carb diets could shorten life, study suggests – BBC News

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