To assess the long-term effects of low-carbohydrate diets, a large study of nearly 130,000 people lasting for over 20 years was conducted and the results were recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine. The research revealed that a low-carbohydrate diet based on animal sources (where protein and fat are the main nutrients) was associated with increased all-cause mortality in both men and women, and more specifically with cardiovascular and cancer mortality. The study concluded that a diet high in plant foods is clearly preferable to a diet based on meat and other animal products. However, if for any reason you need to increase your protein intake, stock up with beans, lentils, soya and soya products, quinoa (type of grain available in health food shops) nuts and seeds (try walnuts and hempseed for a change – both will boost your levels of omega-3 ‘good’ fats).
Fung T.T., et al., 2010. Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: two cohort studies. Annals of Internal Medicine. 153(5) 289-98.