People who slash carbohydrates from their diets may shorten their lifespan, a new study suggests.sing data on nearly 25,000 Americans, researchers found that the one-quarter who ate the fewest carbs each day also had a higher risk of dying over the next six years. Specifically, they had higher death rates from heart disease, stroke and cancer.The research was presented Tuesday at the European Society of Cardiology’s annual meeting, in Munich, Germany.
While the study couldn’t prove cause-and-effect, experts said the findings spotlight the potential impact of such diets — or any “extreme” way of eating — on long-term health.Low-carb diets typically involve eating a lot of protein, mostly meat and dairy products, and consuming less vegetables, fruit and grains. The Atkins and Keto diets are two examples of this kind of eating regimen
In fact, a study published earlier this month linked both high-carb and low-carb diets to an earlier death, said Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian who was not involved in the new research.In that study, researchers found that Americans who typically ate a moderate amount of carbs — 50 to 55 percent of their daily calories — lived the longest, on average.
None of those studies prove that the carb content of people’s diets was the key factor in longevity, Diekman stressed.But she said it all suggests, once again, that moderation is the wisest course.”If you want to protect your health — and work to help prevent disease — the best advice is to avoid extreme eating patterns, and focus on a good balance of plant and animal food sources,” said Diekman, who directs university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis.The study’s lead researcher cautioned on low-carb diets, specifically. “Low-carbohydrate diets might be useful in the short term to lose weight, lower blood pressure and improve blood [sugar] control,” Dr. Maciej Banach, of the Medical University of Lodz, in Poland, said in a statement.”But,” he added, “our study suggests that in the long term they are linked with an increased risk of death from any cause, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease and cancer.”