Both low- and high-carb diets can raise risk of early death, study finds

Eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates best for healthy lifespan, say researchers.

Eating either a low-carb diet or a high-carb diet raises the risk of an early death, according to a major new study which will dismay the many people who have ditched the likes of bread, rice and potatoes for weight loss or health reasons.

Researchers who pooled the results of eight large studies have found that eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates is best for a healthy lifespan. Less than 40% or more than 70% of calories from carbohydrates carried a higher risk of mortality.

Not all low-carb diets are equal, however. People who ate a lot of meat and fats instead of carbohydrates, such as lamb, chicken, steak, butter and cheese, had a higher mortality risk than those who got their protein and fats from plant-based foods such as avocados, legumes and nuts. Popular weight loss diets such as Atkins and Dukan include a substantial amount of meat-based foods.

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