Going low-carb is a popular nutrition-plan choice that jibes with the trendy healthy-fat–packed keto diet. But there’s an important reason you might want to stick to something more balanced: According to new research, that lack of pasta, rice, bread, and other good-for-you grains could seriously shorten your lifespan.
In a study recently published in The Lancet, researchers followed more than 15,000 participants for 25 years, looking into everything from their self-reported calorie intake to the amount of carbs, protein, and fat in their diets. Those who ate a moderate amount of carbs—about half of their daily calorie intake—lived an average of four years longer than those who ate very few, with the macronutrient encompassing fewer than 30 percent of their daily calories. The moderate carb eaters even lived two years longer than those on a typical low-carb diet—AKA getting 30 to 40 percent of daily calories from the sector of nutrition, reports Prevention.
In a recent study, those who ate a moderate amount of carbs—about half of their daily calorie intake—lived an average of four years longer than those who ate very few.
Obviously, the news isn’t great for keto-followers who stick to consuming few to no carbs. But this isn’t to be considered free rein to gouge on grains: The participants who ate a moderate amount of carbs also lived a year longer than those who ate high-carb diets in which the macronutrient encompassed more than 65 percent of their daily calories (potentially because higher-carb diets may include more of the nutrient-poor refined varieties that are linked to weight gain and health issues). So where’s the happy medium in all of this? Basically, it’s all about not going to one extreme or the other and simply enjoying a healthy, balanced diet full of all your favorite foods—zoodle-less spaghetti, included.
According to the US Dietary Guidelines, the average woman’s daily calorie intake should consist of 45 to 65 percent carbs, which, BTW, includes nutrient-packed starchy veggies like sweet potatoes. And the Cleveland Clinic explains that means planning your meals so half your plate is fruits and veggies, a quarter is energy-boosting grains (like brown rice and whole grain pasta), and a quarter is protein (like beans, legumes, tofu, and nuts).
Basically, pasta night has never sounded so good.
Here’s everything you should know about sprouted grain bread. Or check out these six healthy snacks inspired by your favorite not-so-healthy foods.
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