If you’re following a low-carb diet because you think it’s better for your health, it’s time to reconsider, according to a new study in The Lancet Public Health.
Researchers looked at data from almost 16,000 adults to see if there was a link between carb intake and health risk. They found that those who got less than 40 percent or more than 70 percent of their calories from carbs were more likely to die early compared to people who stuck to the 50 to 55 percent range.
Cutting back on carbs often means eating fewer healthy foods like fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and more low-carb animal proteins like cheese and meat. Those swaps hurt your health. “Plant-based ingredients have amazing substances in them called phytochemicals that reduce your risk of cancer and improve heart health,” says Shelley Rael, RDN, based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
On the flip side, high-carb diets are usually full of processed foods.
Following a low-carb diet can help you lose weight in the short term, but you’re best off getting about half of your calories from carbs.