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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Aug 20, 2018

Low-Carb, Animal-Based Diets Associated with Early Death

People who consume animal-based, low-carbohydrate diets have a shorter life expectancy, compared with those who consume more plant-based sources of protein or fat and compared with those who consume more carbohydrates, according to a new study published in The Lancet. Researchers combined data from the US-based Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study and seven other multinational prospective studies and found that consuming less than 40 percent or greater than 70 percent of one's calories from carbohydrate was associated with a higher risk for dying, compared with consuming between 50 and 55 percent of calories from carbohydrate. However, when carbohydrate sources were exchanged for animal-based protein or fat sources (chicken, beef, lamb, pork), the risk for death increased by 18 percent, compared with an 18 percent decreased risk for death when those substitutions were plant-based (nuts, whole-grain breads, and vegetables).


  1. Seidelmann SB, Claggett B, Cheng S, et al. Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis. Lancet. Published online August 16, 2018.

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