Balanced Diet vs. Extremes: How Carbohydrates and Fats Impact Longevity


A recent study led by Dr. Takashi Tamura from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, published in The Journal of Nutrition, explores the impact of extreme carbohydrate and fat diets on life expectancy.

Findings suggest that men following low-carbohydrate diets and women with high carbohydrate intake may face a higher risk of mortality, including all-cause and cancer-related mortality.

In contrast, women with a higher fat intake may experience a lower risk of all-cause mortality.

These results challenge the popularity of extreme low-carb and low-fat diets, often used for weight loss and blood sugar management.

The study is significant as it examines these dietary associations in an East Asian population, shedding light on potential differences in dietary habits.

The research involved a 9-year follow-up survey with 81,333 Japanese individuals, analyzing daily dietary intakes and considering the quality of carbohydrate and fat intake.

Men with less than 40% of their energy from carbohydrates faced higher all-cause and cancer-related mortality risk, regardless of carbohydrate type.

Women with carbohydrate intake exceeding 65% had a higher all-cause mortality risk after 5 years, with carbohydrate type having minimal impact on mortality risk in women.

Men with more than 35% of energy from fats had a higher risk of cancer-related mortality, while low unsaturated fat intake in men was associated with higher all-cause and cancer-related mortality.

In contrast, women with higher total and saturated fat intake exhibited lower all-cause and cancer-related mortality risk, challenging the notion that high fat intake is detrimental to women's longevity.

Dr. Tamura suggested that the inverse association between saturated fat intake and mortality in women may explain some observed differences between the sexes.


Overall, the study highlights the potential downsides of extreme low-carb and low-fat diets for long-term health and emphasizes the importance of a balanced diet that includes a variety of food sources, avoiding extreme restrictions in carbohydrate and fat intake.


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