This Friday, a team of scientists presented their findings concerning dieting and life expectancy. Apparently, middle-aged people who get a moderate intake of carbs as their calories will add a couple of years to their life expectancy, rather than those who follow meat-heavy, low-carb diets.
These findings were published in The Lancet and they come at a time when such diets are getting popular. Europe and North America present more and more people that adopt this lifestyle, called Paleo dieting which sacrifice carbohydrates for animal protein and fat.
The ones that promote this ‘Stone Age’ diet believe that because 10000 years ago we suddenly shifted from a meat-heavy diet to one based on agriculture was bad. Grains, dairy and vegetables apparently didn’t allow us a proper time to adapt to them.
That’s why researches took a crack at it. A low-carb regimen is characterized by taking less than 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, although there are many diets that require a reduction until you reach 20% or less. The other extreme is bad as well, just not that bad. If you get more than 70% of your energy from carbs, then your life expectancy will drop as well, but by far less.
What you should do
The perfect diet is still being debated. A lot of people promote an optimal balance between the food groups. Many studies advise consuming carbs in moderation. If 45 to 55 percent of your calorie intake is from carbohydrates, then that would be the best.
Another factor you should consider is not the number of carbs, but their quality. They should come from plants rich in dietary fiber and intact grains and not from sodas or foods high in sugar.