It seems like everyone is in search of the perfect diet plan and a recent study suggests that a low-carb diet might not be it.
While many studies certainly associate a link between nutrition and mortality but the study analyzed 15,4000 US participants to discover that those who live the longest tend to consume a diet that consists of only 50 percent carbohydrates. Perhaps more importantly, the research also found that both high- and low-carbohydrate diets are associated with [slightly] higher risk of death.
In light of many recent diet trends, this might be surprising to the average consumer, but for some experts, this was nothing new. For example, UK National Health Service dietician Catherine Collins explains, “No aspect of nutrition is so hotly contended on social media than the carb versus fat debate, despite the long-term evidence on health benefits firmly supporting the higher carb argument.”
She goes on to say, “The sheer variety of nutrients achieved with a plant-based, carb-rich diet cannot be replicated on a restricted carb one.”
For the study, the researchers followed the participants for an average of 25 years, tracking factors like age, diet, and mortality (of course) the entire time. Analyzing the statistics found that 50-percent carbohydrate eaters actually tended to live longer than the high- and low-carbohydrate eaters. Overall, the team estimated that by age 50, the middle-carb-eaters could expect roughly another 33 years.
Regarding the study, Brigham and Women’s Hospital clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine, Dr. Sara Seidelman, comments, “We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection.”
The study leader also warned, “Our data suggest 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.”
In addition, Collins continued: “On an ‘average’ 2,000 kcal-a-day intake, a diet of 30% calories from carbs equates to only 150g a day, with sugars (natural or ‘added’) contributing around 50g of that total. With a mere 100g of complex carb a day to play with, a lower intake of cereals, grains, and starchy vegetables are inevitable.”