Published: Wed, August 22, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Brigham and Women's Researchers Find Moderate Carb Intake Is Best

Brigham and Women's Researchers Find Moderate Carb Intake Is Best

The widespread presence of the low-carb diet is now increasing as more and more people are anxious about their weight.

Proponents of these "Stone Age" diets argue that the rapid shift 10,000 years ago - with the advent of agriculture - to grains, dairy and legumes has not allowed the human body enough time to adapt to these high-carb foods.

Seidelmann and colleagues poured over the medical histories of almost 15,500 men and women who were 45-64 when they enrolled - between 1987 and 1989 - in a health survey spread across four locations in the United States.

Eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates could mean you die younger, a 25-year study has suggested.

If you are looking forward to boost your longevity, start consuming carbohydrates in moderation.

In addition, scientists have found that people prefer to consume foods rich in animal fats, is subjected to their health more harm than the followers foods with vegetable fats. They found that replacing carbohydrates with beef, lamb, pork, chicken and cheese could slightly increase the risk of death while eating more plant-based proteins and fats could reduce the risk.

The results were concluded by a meta-study based on carbohydrate admission of individuals from more than 20 countries.

Dr Sara Seidelmann, clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, who led the research, said: "We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection".

The researchers estimated that from age 50, the average life expectancy was an additional 33 years for those with moderate carbohydrate intake - four years longer than those with very low carbohydrate consumption (29 years), and one year longer compared to those with high carbohydrate consumption (32 years).

"However, our data suggests that animal-based low-carb diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged".

Interestingly, it was revealed that replacing carbohydrates with plant-based foods was linked to a lower risk of mortality. A new study finds that having too much or too little of it can be detrimental to health.

"On an "average" 2,000 kcal-a-day intake, a diet of 30 percent calories from carbs equates to only 150g a day, with sugars (natural or "added") contributing around 50g of that total".

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more on diet and nutrition.

However, on the downside, the researchers involved in the study made their estimations based on observational associations and not on cause-and-effect data. Although carbohydrates are technically not an essential nutrient (unlike protein and fats), a certain amount is probably required to meet short-term energy demands during physical activity and to maintain fat and protein intakes within their respective sweet spots.

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