Low-carb diets associated with lower life expectancy, study suggests

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(Nicole Ireland, Christine Birak/ CBC News) — Many people flocking to low-carb diets in an effort to shed pounds may be putting their health at risk, a new study suggests.

“Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight-loss strategy,” said Dr. Sara Seidelmann, lead author and a clinical and research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, in a news release.

“However, 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.”

The observational study of data provided by more than 15,400 adults in the U.S., published in The Lancet Public Health journal, found that people who got less than 40 per cent of their calories from carbohydrates could expect to live four fewer years than those whose diet included a “moderate” amount of carbohydrates (50 to 55 per cent of total calories).

Eating too many carbohydrates was also unhealthy, the study found. People getting more than 70 per cent of their caloric intake from carbs had a one-year shorter life expectancy compared to the moderate carb eaters. (…)

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