Moderate consumption of carbohydrates is the healthiest long-term proposition. However, low-carb diets can be improved if proteins and fats are derived from plant and not animal sources.
Recent study suggests low-carb diets high in animal fats and proteins are linked to high mortality risks. New research reports that both low and high carbohydrates diet are associated with a higher risk of early mortality. The research was published in the journal The Lancet Public Health in August 2018. Several studies from recent past demonstrated side-effects of high-carbohydrate diets, as it triggers weight loss. Furthermore, extreme low-carb/high-fat diets were found to improve the efficacy of cancer drugs and reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures.
The new study was conducted to examine the long-term effects of low-carb diet on overall mortality rates. As a part of experiment, over 15,000 adults across four locations in the U.S were targeted after 25 years the researchers calculated the association between overall carbohydrate intake and life expectancy. Furthermore, carbohydrate intake was calculated as an average percentage related to overall caloric consumption.
Results showed that subjects consuming low carbohydrate diet with carbs accounting for less than 40% of an overall caloric intake, suffered from a higher risk of early mortality as compared to those eating a moderate carb intake. A U-shaped association was identified in the data suggesting a low-carb intake (less than 40 percent) and a high-carb intake (more than 70 percent) both increased rates of mortality, whereas the sweet spot seemed to be around 50 to 55 percent carb intake.
Low-carb diets are associated with a variety of beneficial health outcomes, which include weight loss and diabetes management. The research suggest that a simplistic high/low-fat/carb distinction is overly reductive. Also, regular consumption of healthy and balanced diet with moderate consumption of lean meats and lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts is advised for a long life.