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Cutting carbs can quickly help you drop pounds and decrease your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
But what’s the long-term effect of going low-carb?
Is it all sunshine, roses and health benefits? Or is there a downside to doing away with most of the carbs in your diet… besides the obvious downside of not being able to eat pizza, pasta and bread?
Well, if you love low-carb eating, hold on to your zoodles (zucchini noodles) …
Because a new study shows there is a BIG long-term disadvantage to going low carb — a shorter life.
The connection between carb consumption and lifespan
The latest study from researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the University of Minnesota shows that eating too many or too little carbs can increase your risk of dying earlier.
There were 15,400 people in the study, and those who got less than 40 percent of their energy from carbs or more than 70 percent of their energy from carbs had a higher risk of dying younger.
Just to give you a point of reference, people on the keto diet only get about 5 to 10 percent of their energy from carbs. And people on more liberal low-carb diets get 10 to 20 percent of their energy from carbs.
A lot of people who go on these diets report better health and weight loss. But in this study, moderate carb-eaters — those who got 50 to 55 percent of their energy from carbs — lived longer.
On average, moderate carb eaters lived one year longer than people with very high carb intake and four years longer than people with low carb intake.
So, does that mean people nowadays are cutting too many carbs? So much so, that they’re shortening their lives?
Maybe. But when it comes to longevity, it’s not just about how many carbs you cut. It’s about what you replace them with…
The best way to go low-carb
These same researchers analyzed several other studies on carbohydrate intake that included data from 432,000 people from all over the world. And here’s what they found…
If you’re going low-carb, there’s a healthier way to do it… one that doesn’t put you at risk for dying younger.
The trick to going low-carb without sacrificing years of your lifespan is to replace carbs with plant-based proteins and fats rather than animal-based proteins and fats.
That means, less bacon, steak and eggs and more avocado, almonds and chia seeds.
So, if you want to stick to your low-carb diet without losing years of life, try replacing some of the animal fat and protein you eat with plant-based alternatives. Here are some of the best plant-based sources of protein and fat:
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Brussel sprouts
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Flax seeds
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- Moderate carbohydrate intake may be best for health — MedicalXpress
- Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis — The Lancet Public Health
- Top 15 sources of plant-based protein — Medical News Today
- These plant-based fats could help you live longer — Medical News Toda.