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 United Kingdom dietary guidelines) had a slightly lower risk of death compared with the low and high-carb groups.
The study, which involved more than 15,000 Americans who were tracked for a quarter of a century, found that those who ate a low-carb diet (with less than 40 percent of daily calories coming from carbs) or a high-carb diet (with more than 70 percent of daily calories coming from carbs) were more likely to die during the study period, compared with those who ate a moderate-carb diet, with about 50 to 55 percent of their calories coming from carbs.
'Instead, if one chooses to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term'.
"There is nothing to be gained from long-term adherence to low-carbohydrate diets rich in fats and proteins from animal origins", said Mr Ian Johnson, a nutrition researcher at Quadram Institute Bioscience in England. Factors such as smoking, income, and diabetes, were also considered during the study. Finally, given the relatively small number of individuals following plant-based low-carb diets, further research is needed. Anything above or below these figures puts people in the early mortality risk group, according to the study.
Well you will be happy to hear that a new study finds that if you have been trying to stick to a low carb diet, you should add a few pieces of bread to it. What's more, the study only assessed people's diets at two points in time, and it's possible that participants' diets may have changed during the 25-year study, which could have affected the results.
They also said their findings show observational associations rather than cause and effect.
Previous trials have shown low carb diets are beneficial for short-term weight loss and improve cardiometabolic risk.
Researchers noted that some of those animal products have been linked to the stimulation of oxidative stress, inflammatory pathways and biological aging - and could shorten lifespans.
"These types of diets might reflect poor food quality and confer a chronically high glycaemic load that can lead to negative metabolic consequences".
"These findings bring together several strands that have been controversial".
Fibre intake should be higher also as said by Prof Tom Sanders. The findings suggest that replacing carbs with animal-based proteins is linked to a greater chance of mortality, while replacing carbs with plant-based proteins lengthens life expectancy.
"Yet supporters of the cult of Low Carb High Fat (LCHF) eating, itself based on a lifestyle choice and the flimsiest of evidence supporting benefit, will no doubt disagree with this newest research on the subject. Such a stance is at odds with advice from WHO and government health bodies that recommend a carb intake to provide half our daily calorie needs". "If nothing else, this study provides some redress to this one-sided debate, and adds caution to such practice for long term management". "The feting and promotion of Global Positioning System promoting often freaky low carb diets to manage diabetes has gained much media traction", she said.
From this, scientists estimated the proportion of calories they got from carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
'Essential nutrients should be consumed above a minimal level to avoid deficiency and below a maximal level to avoid toxicity, ' he wrote. This approach maintains physiological processes and health (ie, a so-called sweet spot).