From no-carb to low-carb, diets today increasingly focus on the intake of carbohydrates and fats. A new study suggests that extreme dietary habits involving these two crucial elements of food affect how long people live.
A new study, by researchers from Nagoya University, found that a low carbohydrate intake in men and a high carbohydrate intake in women are linked to a higher risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality. All-cause mortality risk refers to the risk of death as a result of any cause such as disease or accident. Moreover, women with higher fat intake may have a lower risk of all-cause mortality. The researchers suggest that people should focus on eating a balanced diet rather than doing extreme diets that significantly restrict their carbohydrate or fat consumption. The journal was published in The Journal of Nutrition.
For the study, the researchers analysed data from more than 81,000 Japanese people recorded over a period of nine years to examine how carbohydrate and fat intakes affected the risk of mortality. The researchers also found that men who consumed less than 40% of their total energy from carbohydrates experienced significantly higher risks of all-cause and cancer-related mortality, according to Nagoya University’s press statement. At the time of five years or longer follow-up, women with a high carbohydrate intake of more than 65% had a higher risk of all-cause mortality.
Moreover, men getting more than 35% of their total energy from fats had a higher risk of cancer-related mortality. In women, total and saturated fat intake indicated an inverse association with the risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality, according to the statement. “[C]omponents other than fat in the food sources of fat may be responsible for the observed inverse association between fat intake and mortality in women,” Dr Takashi Tamura, who led the research said.
This is an important study as restricting carbohydrates and fats is now a popular dietary habit to improve health and lose weight. The findings show that low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets may not be the healthiest way to maintain health and for longevity. The researchers emphasise that careful consideration and research are necessary when deciding on dietary habits and a balanced diet might be a better option.