Low-carb diets have become increasingly popular, but a new study suggests that the healthiest diets include moderate amounts of carbohydrates.
The large-scale study, co-authored by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, tracked 15,000 Americans and found that people eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates (50% to 55% of their daily calorie intake) had lower mortality rates over a 25-year period than those who typically ate low-carb meals (40% or less of their daily calories) or high-carb meals (70% or more of their calories). The researchers found similar results when they examined data on carbohydrate intake from several multinational studies.
“Too much and too little carbohydrate can be harmful but what counts most is the type of fat, protein, and carbohydrate.” – Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Chan School.
Many low-carb diets replace carbohydrates with fats and proteins in meat and dairy products, which can increase risks of heart disease and cancers, according to an August 17, 2018 article in The Independent. The study found that the healthiest low-carb diets were those that included a lot of vegetables, plant oils, and legumes in place of carbs.