Eating a low carbohydrate or high carbohydrate diet may have its promoters but a new study suggests “it might make it more likely that you will die earlier” not to mention develop an unhealthy relationship with food.

The US study published in 2018 tracked food diaries for more than 15,000 over 25 years suggesting those who ate a low-carbohydrate diet (less than 40% of their calories came from carbohydrates like pap, rice and bread each day) or a high-carb diet (more than 70% carbs) were more likely to die during the study period than those who ate a moderate-carb diet (50 to 55% carbs).

The research didn’t definitively prove the difference in dieting was the cause of early deaths but it’s clear that embracing a varied, plant-based diet stands you in a great stead!

There are times that with the help of a professional e.g. dietitian a person can be put on a lower carbohydrate intake to achieve certain results. However, this practice cannot be generalized for everyone but needs to be individualized. 

What is important to note is that carbohydrates are essential to life. They are used by our bodies as the preferred source of energy.  They actually also found in fruit and vegetables, something ignored far too often when people demonize food groups. Most diets focus on restricting a food item or a food group to achieve weight loss results. Restricting a whole food group isn’t necessary for most us, these fad diets have led to an epidemic of confusion. 

The one diet way that has been proven to work for everyone be it to reduce weight, prevent chronic disease or just attain a feel good lifestyle is a Mediterranean way of eating.  This way promotes the intake of whole grains, lean protein such as fish, healthy fat (e.g. nuts & seeds).  Please be careful before changing your diet and consider professional qualified advice rather than listen to your favorite Instagram bloggers.

I like this study because it focuses on one of the most controversial topics in the world & a most criticized nutrient (carbohydrate)

Bottom Line: 

Most people like to fuss about the percentages of carbohydrates. I think unless you are an elite athlete or have been instructed by your healthcare professional due to your health. Eat carbohydrates it’s all about the two Q’s (Quality & Quantity).

  • Choose higher fibre carbohydrates e.g. Whole-wheat/health breads/ Legumes (beans), brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, brown mealie meal (brown pap) , Samp / mealies, Oats, bran flakes 
  • Be careful (only now and then) refined carbohydrates e.g. baked products, white bread, white pap , sugar containing foods & drinks 
  • Quantity àMonitor your portions (Half plate vegetables, 1/4 plate (your fist size) Starch  
  • Eat plenty of vegetables & fruits a day ( Aim for 5-a-DAY) 
  • Choose low fat dairy products (contain carbohydrates) 

When in doubt just remember “everything in moderation” phrase. 

Note:  Any study should always be taken with a pinch of salt, the data in questions relies upon food diaries which are rarely 100% accurate and is not from a controlled study but an epidemiological one (which means over time the participants can get up to all sorts to interfere with the data, too many variables)

Actual study link:

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