With diets such as the ketogenic diet being all the rage right now, it makes sense that a study would come forward claiming that those low carb diets are linked to an early death.
For the purpose of this particular study, low-carb diets were defined as less than 40 percent of calories from carbohydrates and high-carb diets were more than 70 percent of calories.
According to the peer-reviewed research published in the medical journal The Lancet Public Health, both low and high-carb diets could shorten a person’s lifespan, and diets including a moderate amount of carbohydrates could promote a healthy lifespan. Scott Solomon, a senior author on the study, called the research “the most comprehensive study of carbohydrate intake” ever, according to USA Today.
The study analyzed self-reported data from more than 15,400 middle-aged Americans who participated in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. The dietary patterns researchers found were compared against additional studies that included 432,000 people in more than 20 countries. –USA Today
An important limitation of this study to bear in mind, it that it relies on people’s memories. Self-reported data can be flawed for this reason. Another limitation of the study is that the diets were measured only twice during the 25-year study period, at the start of the study and again six years later.
But, based on all available information reported, the researchers concluded that people who ate a moderate amount of carbohydrates lived four years longer than those with low-carbohydrate consumption and one year longer than those who ate a lot of carbohydrates. “Our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged,” lead author Sara Seidelmann, a fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said in a statement.
“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. “Too much and too little carbohydrate can be harmful but what counts most is the type of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.”
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