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HomeAustraliaLow carb diets INCREASE your risk of an early death

Low carb diets INCREASE your risk of an early death


It’s a debate that has raged in health circles for years: which is worse, fat or sugar?

In the late 20th century and early 2000s, fat was vilified after it was routinely associated with heart disease and high cholesterol.

But more recent research has pinpointed sugar as the enemy, with high-fat diets like keto receiving praise from the scientific community.

A new study claims to have put the debate to the ultimate test — by studying which kills you faster, a high-fat or high-carb diet.

Researchers found that eating a low-fat diet can significantly extend a person’s lifespan, while a low-carb diet actually increases the risk of early death (file photo)

Researchers found that following a low-fat diet could reduce the risk of death by as much as 34 percent each year. Meanwhile, low-carb diets increased mortality risk by up to 38 percent.

“Our results support the importance of maintaining a healthy LFD with less saturated fat in preventing all-cause and cause-specific mortality among middle-aged and elderly people,” researchers wrote.

“In this study, all[low-fat diet]scores were associated with lower total mortality, indicating remarkable health benefits of dietary fat reduction to restore health.

“Our results were similar to those of several previous large-scale prospective cohort studies and randomized controlled trials, which also suggested a reduction in dietary saturated fat.”

In their research, published Wednesday in the Journal of Internal Medicineresearchers from Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Tulane University, in New Orleans, Louisiana, collaborated with Chinese scientists.

They collected data from the 1990s on 371,159 Americans, who were between the ages of 50 and 71 at the start of the study.

Using the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, a study initiated in 1995 to measure the links between diet and chronic disease in older people, they looked for links between diet and longevity.

In the study, participants were asked how often they ate 124 different foods.

Using the information, researchers calculated how often a person ate carbohydrates and fat.

Participants were split into groups, with the 20 percent who ate the fewest carbohydrates placed in a control group and compared to the 20 percent whose diet contained the most carbohydrates.

Going further, they categorized people as having a “healthy” or “unhealthy” low-fat or low-carb diet based on whether they were fed foods from “high” or “low” quality sources.

For example, someone eating a low-fat diet and eating a lot of lean meats and vegetables would be on a “healthy” diet, while someone eating refined sugars and processed foods would be considered an “unhealthy” diet.

They found that people who followed a low-fat diet, whether they were healthy or not, significantly reduced their risk of an early death compared to people on a high-fat diet.

The risk of dying each year from any cause dropped by 21 percent for people following a low-fat diet. If it was a healthy diet, the risk of death fell by 34 percent.

Those on an unhealthy low-fat diet still had their mortality risk drop by eight percent compared to peers on an unhealthy, high-fat diet.

Meanwhile, eating a low-carb diet was a path to an early death. People on keto-style diets were 28 percent more likely to die from any cause compared to their high-carb peers.

Participants on an unhealthy low-carb diet increased their mortality risk by 38 percent each year.

Low-fat diets have long been a favorite of people trying to lose weight and improve their overall health.

These diets will focus on eating fruits, vegetables, and lean meats while avoiding fatty oils.

In particular, saturated fats and trans fats are marked as best to avoid. The former is commonly found in red meat, butter, cheese and whole milk. The latter is common in processed and fried foods.

However, there are some healthy fats. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oil, fish and nuts are known to help maintain cholesterol levels and improve brain health.

Fat can also be used as an energy source for the body, with some claiming that it is healthier to train the body to use it as its main energy source.

This led to the rise of ketogenic diets – also known as ‘keto’.

The first to gain fame was the Atkins diet, developed by cardiologist Robert Atkins in the 1960s.

These diets severely restrict the number of carbohydrates a person consumes and instead eat large amounts of protein and fat.

People on keto drop sugars, bread, and starchy veggies like potatoes and broccoli and other high-carb foods.

Instead, their diet will consist of meat, eggs, dairy, and leafy green vegetables.

While keto has earned some high-profile endorsers, such as NBA star LeBron James and beauty magnate Kim Kardashian, it has also had plenty of skeptics.

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