The study followed more than 15,000 people over 25 years and looked at how their carbohydrate intake factored into how long they lived. People whose carb intake averaged between 50 and 55% of their daily calories lived the longest. Restricting carbs to less than 40% of their intake resulted in an increased mortality risk. But that doesn’t mean you should switch to an all-pasta diet. A diet high in carbohydrates — more than 70% of your total calories — can also decrease your life expectancy.
The study also examined the types of foods people consumed, finding that low-carb diets with animal-derived fats and proteins (like meat) were linked to higher mortality, while plant-based low-carb diets (including vegetables, nuts, and whole grains) were associated with lower mortality. Overall, maintaining a balanced carbohydrate intake, along with choosing plant-based sources over animal-based ones, may contribute to a longer and healthier life.
“On an ‘average’ 2,000 kcal-a-day intake, a diet of 30% calories from carbs equates to only 150g a day, with sugars (natural or ‘added’) contributing around 50g of that total. With a mere 100g of complex carb a day to play with, a lower intake of cereals, grains, and starchy vegetables is inevitable,” Catherine Collins, a dietician from the UK’s National Health Service told CNN.