A recent study published in The Lancet Public Health ( a prestigious medical journal founded in 1823) suggests low and high-carb diets could shorten life span by up to four years, and diets including some carbs could promote a healthy lifespan.
Scott Solomon, who was the senior author on the study, called the research “the most comprehensive study of carbohydrate intake” ever. The study was large in scale, tracking data from 15,400 people.
The researchers discovered that subjects who ate a moderate amount of carbohydrates (40-70% of their caloric intake from carbohydrates) lived four years longer than those with low-carbohydrate consumption (less than 40% of caloric intake from carbs) and one year longer than those who ate a lot of carbohydrates (more than 70% of calories from carbs).
Many fad diets in the last 20 years or so have focused on minimum carbohydrate intake, and presented carbs as being the primary component leading to obesity. Research shows the vast majority of people who lost weight through these extreme plans gained back not only the weight they lost, but additional pounds as well, so carb deprivation isn’t the long term answer. If you exercise regularly, restricting your carb intake too severely can result in decreased thyroid output, increased cortisol output, decreased testosterone, impaired mood and cognitive function, muscle catabolism and a suppressed immune function (Source-Precision Nutrition).
Making sure you have healthy carbs in your food plan will help you enjoy higher energy levels and better balance in your body’s energy systems.