Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis

Year Published: 2018




"Sara B Seidelmann, Brian Claggett, Susan Cheng, Mir Henglin, Amil Shah, Lyn M Steffen, Aaron R Folsom, Eric B Rimm, Walter C Willett, Scott D Solomon"


The long-term effect of low-carb diets on mortality is controversial and may depend on various factors. The authors of this paper examined 15,428 adults aged 45-64 years from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study to determine the association between percentage of energy intake from carbohydrate and mortality.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Results showed that both low carbohydrate (<40%)and high carbohydrate consumption (>70%)were associated with increased mortality risk. However, results varied by source: low-carb diets favoring animal-derived proteins were associated with higher mortality. In contrast, low-carb diets emphasizing plant proteins, including nuts and peanut butter, were associated with lower mortality. The authors conclude that animal-based low-carb diets should be discouraged. However, when restricting carbohydrate intake, replacement of carbs with predominantly plant-based fats and protein may encourage healthy aging.