Low carbohydrate diets have become very popular for those who are trying to lose weight. After all, we are a society that tends to overindulge on processed carbohydrates laden with sugars and white flour. It’s no wonder that removing these items from one’s diet would result in losing a few pounds. The problem is, most people tend to gain the weight back as soon as they reintroduce carbohydrates. Additionally, cutting out healthy carbohydrates isn’t necessarily good for you long-term.
Two recent publications explored this issue in greater depth. An article entitled “Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis” was published in the September 2018 volume of the highly respected medical journal, The Lancet. This was a review of the dietary habits of over 15,000 adults, and demonstrated a roughly 20% increased mortality over 25 years in those consuming low (<40%) and high (>70%) carbohydrate diets, with the sweet spot being around 50-55%.
There was a second publication at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in August, 2018. See the press release here. This study evaluated dietary histories from nearly 25,000 patients. Compared to those with the highest carbohydrate consumption, those with the lowest intake had a 32% higher risk of all-cause death, a 51% increase in death from coronary heart disease, a 50% increase in death from cerebrovascular disease, and a 35% increase in death from cancer.
While a short-term low-carbohydrate diet may help you to jumpstart your weight loss, consider these findings carefully before you consider this as a long-term solution.