Research we're watching
Image: © AndreyPopov/Getty Images
The best dietary strategy when it comes to carbohydrate intake could be neither high-carb nor low-carb, but rather moderation. A study published online August 16 by The Lancet Public Health found that both high- and low-carbohydrate diets were associated with earlier death. But people who got about half to 55% of their calories from carbohydrates — which is considered a moderate amount — lived longer.
The research involved more than 15,000 adults ages 45 to 65 who were involved in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Participants filled out a dietary questionnaire when they enrolled in the study, which began in 1987. Researchers then looked for links between what participants ate and their death from any cause over a median follow-up period of 25 years.
While high- and low-carb diets both appeared to confer risks, the researchers did note that low-carb eaters who most often chose animal proteins such as pork and chicken had higher death rates than low-carb eaters who got most of their calories from plant-based sources, such as vegetables, and nuts.
This could indicate that food selection, not just carbohydrate intake, influenced the results.
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.