Low Carb, Meat-Heavy Diets Could Reduce Life Expectancy, According to New Study

A new study published in the Lancet Public Health has found that low carbohydrate, meat-heavy diets that also have a focus on dairy could reduce life expectancy, with data from over 15,000 adults in the US.

Low carb diets are used as a way to lose weight with protein or fat intake increased to replace carbohydrates.

The study analysed the link between the amount of energy made up from carbohydrates and mortality, and whether carbs are being replaced with animal or plant protein. Participants completed dietary questionnaires, with 15, 428 people aged 45-64 from four different communities taking part in the study.

When discussing the method of the study, the author’s wrote: “The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We investigated the association between the percentage of energy from carbohydrate intake and all-cause mortality, account for possible non-linear relationships in this cohort.”

The study concluded that animal-derived sources of protein or fat increased mortality when used as a replacement for carbohydrates, and mortality decreased when plant-based sources of protein were used.

The study reads: “Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.”