Cutting out all carbs from your diet could actually be bad for you

It’s not uncommon for people to assume that in order to properly lose weight, they need to curb their intake of carbs.

After all, this tactic has been endorsed by the likes of Kim Kardashian, Elle MacPherson and Gwyneth Paltrow, and there’s no denying they’re definitely in shape.

However, a new study has shown just how bad this can be for you. In fact, scientists have now discovered that eating either a low-carb diet or a high-carb diet raises the risk of an early death.


A team of researchers conducted a study over the course of 25 years, which was published in The Lancet Public Health, which looked at the eating habits of Americans.

Calling upon 15,400 people, aged between 45 and 64, participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire documenting what they ate and drank day-to-day and what their portion sizes were. From this, the researchers calculated how many calories people got from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in their diets.

The results showed that those who got around 50 to 55 percent of their calories from carbohydrates – ranked as the moderate group – had the lowest risk of mortality compared to those ranked in the extra low-carb, the low-carb and the high-carb groups. They were also the group found to have the largest life expectancy.

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They were estimated to live for four years longer than those in the extra low-carb group (those who got less than 30 percent of their energy from carbs), they would live 2.3 years longer than those in the low-carb group (30 to 40 percent) and 1.1 years longer than those the high-carb group (who got 65 percent or more of their energy from carbohydrates).

The scientists also discovered that those who substitute carbs for animal produce like meat and dairy produce, also had a shorter life expectancy but those who traded carbohydrates for plant-based food, like nuts and legumes, actually saw a reduced risk to mortality.

Talking to the BBC, Dr Sara Seidelmann, clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said: ‘Our data suggests that animal-based low-carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged.

‘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.’

Food for thought, eh?