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Meat-heavy, low-carb diets can 'shorten lifespan': study

Discussion in 'Food' started by Emma JC, Aug 17, 2018.

  1. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/meat-heavy-low-carb-diets-can-shorten-lifespan-study-1.4056898

    So good to see a new article almost every day in some MS media:
    (again the lead is buried or the conclusion is at the end) o_O

    Meat-heavy, low-carb diets can 'shorten lifespan': study
    AFP
    Published Friday, August 17, 2018 10:12AM EDT

    Middle-aged people who get roughly half their daily calories from carbohydrates live several years longer on average than those with meat-heavy low-carb diets, researchers reported Friday.

    The findings, published in The Lancet, challenge a trend in Europe and North America toward so-called Paleo diets that shun carbohydrates in favour of animal protein and fat.

    Proponents of these "Stone Age" diets argue that the rapid shift 10,000 years ago -- with the advent of agriculture -- to grains, dairy and legumes has not allowed the human body enough time to adapt to these high-carb foods.

    For the study, receiving less than 40 percent of total energy intake from carbohydrates qualified as a low-carb regimen, though many such diets reduce the share to 20 percent or less. At the other extreme, a 70 percent or higher share of carbohydrates -- such as pasta, rice, cakes, sugary drinks -- can also reduce longevity, but by far less, the scientists found.

    "Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy," said lead author Sara Seidelmann, a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    "However, our data suggest that animal-based low carbohydrate diets might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged."

    Replacing meat with plant-based fats (such as avocados and nuts) and proteins (such as soy products and lentils) reduces the risk of mortality, Seidelmann and her team found.

    The optimal balance of food groups for longevity remains hotly debated. Many studies have concluded that eating carbohydrates in moderation -- 45 to 55 percent of total calorie intake -- is best, but others report improved short-term, cardio-metabolic health with high-protein, high-fat diets. (Measures of metabolic health include blood pressure, good and bad cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.)

    "Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality," the study said.

    "Those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality," it said, adding that this suggested "the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality."

    Seidelmann and colleagues poured over the medical histories of nearly 15,500 men and women who were 45-64 when they enrolled -- between 1987 and 1989 -- in a health survey spread across four locations in the United States.

    Participants filled out detailed questionnaires about their dietary habits -- what foods, how much, how often, etc. Over a 25-year follow up period, more than 6,000 of the men and women died.

    People who got 50 to 55 percent of their calories from carbohydrates outlived those with very low-carb diets, on average, by four years, and those with high-carb diets by one year.

    A review of medical records for an additional 432,000 people from earlier studies confirmed the results, which are also in line with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

    "There is nothing to be gained from long-term adherence to low-carbohydrate diets rich in fats and proteins from animal origins," said Ian Johnson, a nutrition researcher at Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich, England, commenting on the research, in which he did not take part.

    But carb quality, not just quantity, is crucial he added.


    "Most should come from plant foods rich in dietary fibre and intact grains, rather than from sugary beverages or manufactured foods high in added sugar."


    Fibres also help maintain a healthy gut flora, now considered to be a major factor in health and disease.


    Emma JC
     
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  2. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Time and CNN also ran articles about this study.
    Time
    http://time.com/5369028/carbs-healthy-diet/
    CNN
    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/17/health/low-carb-high-carbohydrate-diet-risk-of-death-intl/index.html

    Although both articles seem to aim some pot shots at Low Carb diets, personally I felt like they didn't go far enough. Both shied from saying that low carb diets were unhealthy. They also didn't come out and outright endorse WFPB diets.

    The original study said that carbs should not be over 55%. And PB diets are usually at least 60%, if not more.

    They did hide some gems at the bottom.

    "Both the new research and a number of prior nutrition studies suggest that people who swap carbohydrates for plant-derived proteins and fats, such as beans, nuts and seeds, may have a lower risk of death than those who replace carbs with proteins and fats from animal sources."
    - Time

    "A really important message from this study is that it is not enough to focus on the nutrients, but whether they are derived from animal or plant sources," she added.
    "When carbohydrate intake is reduced in the diet, there are benefits when this is replaced with plant-origin fat and protein food sources but not when replaced with animal-origin sources such as meats. Many low-carb diet regimes do not make this distinction, but it is important."
    -CNN
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
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  3. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member

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    They should have put this at the front, middle and end of the article, because of the way it was written, ie: "carbs vs animal protein and animal fat" which completely understates the issues involved.
     
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  4. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I didn't read the study the articles are based on but all three articles (IMHO) didn't emphasize that enough.
     
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  5. veganDreama

    veganDreama Active Member

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    Interesting, Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    So now USA Today reports on this same study. The article itself is pretty good. But the headline is misleading. they trade eye-grabbing and sensational value for accuracy.

    Low-carb diet linked to early death, medical study suggests
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...arb-diet-linked-early-death-study/1017131002/

    I read an article in Nutrition Actions years ago that discussed how the media is responsible for a good part of the confusion the normal average person has about nutrition. It's not unusual for an average person to conclude with something like, "carbs are bad, carbs are good, they don't know what they are talking about. I'll eat whatever I want."

    The sort of sad thing is that this is treated as NEWS. WE have known for years and years that carbs should be about 60% of our calories. I think I was first exposed to this in the mid-nineties.
     
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  7. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I'm not sure this article is based on the same study as mentioned above.
    But without any further research, I'm thinking it's not.

    Low-carb diets 'are unsafe and should be avoided'
    Published Today
    By Ana Sandoiu
    Fact checked by Jasmin Collier
    A large study concludes that a low intake of carbs raises the risk of premature mortality, as well as mortality from several chronic illnesses. Therefore, scientists urge dieters to avoid low-carb diets.

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322881.php
     
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  8. Veggie-based Heathen
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    Veggie-based Heathen Member

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    The paleo (a.k.a "paleolithic" a.k.a. "caveman" a.k.a. "stone age") diet has become crazy popular the last few years. I know a number of people who have at least tried it, only a couple have stuck to it, and none of them achieved the long-term health effects they were aiming for.

    To its credit, it does encourage people to stay away from processed foods and eat more whole foods. But, I think people tend to misunderstand a lot about its origins (which are not really science-based at all) and what it's supposed to encompass. Most people seem to end up being on a "meat and potatoes" diet, where meat is often more than half of their intake. They either forget or misunderstand the role of plants in the diets of our ancestors, thinking of plants as infrequent side dishes and meat as the constant main course, when in reality it was the other way around.

    I'm a huge fan of health science and nutrition, and find it all pretty fascinating. There are two books I've recently read (well, listened to, technically--audiobooks) that talk about the diets of our ancestors.

    What I like about both of these is that neither of them are specifically diet or lifestyle books; they're history. Both of them said the same thing: what people commonly envision as the diet of our ancestors is highly inaccurate. Most believe that humans evolved eating meat as the main staple, but we didn't. Most sources of meat aren't edible to us unless they're cooked, so we only started eating meat when we developed the tools and capacity for cooking. And even then, it wasn't a daily thing. One of the aforementioned books (I forget which, my apologies) said that meat was only consumed about once a month, the other said it was every few months. A Brief History of the World mentioned that though lexicon usually phrases it as "hunter/gatherer societies," it would be more accurate to say "gatherer/hunter societies" because humans primarily gathered food and didn't do nearly as much hunting as many assume they did.

    A major problem with the paleo diet is that the biodiversity is entirely different now than it was back then. We've evolved and changed a lot as a species, which means our diets have changed--it also means that everything else has evolved and changed since then as well. A Brief History of the World mentions that pretty much everything that was a part of the literal paleolithic diet is now extinct (either the species died out or evolved enough to not be considered the same species its ancestors were), and it's impossible to eat the same diet that our ancestors ate.

    I've known people who started out on the paleo diet eating mostly plants; they cut out almost all dairy products, and ate mostly plants accompanied by a little bit of meat. But then it seemed to shift for them... meat is easy and (at least to some) delicious, so they ended up eating more and more meat and fewer and fewer plants. And, they eased up on some restrictions too, adding back dairy products. Suddenly, cheesy bacon fries are a part of the "paleo" diet.

    I think the paleo diet would be far less dangerous if people ate meat far less frequently and focused on eating plants for the bulk of their diet. (Before going vegan, I considered going paleo, but I didn't think I could go the rest of my life without eating bread. I did, however, try out the paleo diet for a couple of months just to see how it would feel.)

    My dad (though he was never on the paleo diet specifically) is battling colon cancer, and his doctor told him flat out it was most likely caused by his diet being so rich in red meat and so poor in plants.

    Bottom line:
    • plants = good
    • non-plants = in moderation only
     
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  9. Precious

    Precious New Member

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    I agree. I have been vegan for almost 1 year now and it as changed my life. I’ve only gotten a cold once and it lasted for almost 3 days. I feel the best I’ve ever felt.
     
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  10. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I hate the popularity of the paleo diet. It has got to be the stupidest diet in the world. Even worse than Keto.

    Even the name is stupid. There were no caveman in the Paleozoic.
     
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  11. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Today in my recreation class my professor (who is an athlete, and not much of an environmentalist, though she pays a lot of lip service to Leave No Trace) was talking about the time she climbed a mountain when she was on some paleo/keto diet, she kept saying that her energy was "great" but also that she felt terrible and had a headache, but that was probably altitude sickness. The mental hoops people jump through to justify having a big plate of bacon three meals a day is absurd.
     
  12. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    When I lived in L.A. I remember someone claiming she and her date had "paleo cocktails." Because those cavemen were totally shaking and mixing and stirring some colorful alcoholic beverages. Cheesy bacon fries is bad, but I am hard pressed to think of anything more unintentionally hilarious than someone thinking they're drinking "paleo cocktails."
     
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  13. Veggie-based Heathen
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    Veggie-based Heathen Member

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    Paleo cocktails?! That’s hilarious!!
     
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  14. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Just discovered something. I always thought the paleo in paleo diet referred to the Paleozoic. A time period that had no people in it. (which is one of the reasons I thought it was stupid) but it refers to the Paleolithic which is commonly referred to as the stone age or old stone age or ice stone age. The Paleozoic ended just about the time of the invention of agriculture. and it was the adoption of farming that changed our diets pretty drastically. I remember reading an article that blamed everything wrong with society on wheat. It was pretty convincing.

    So I owe all those paleo dieters an apology. it's not as stupid as I thought. At least it is named correctly.

    Meanwhile, there is archeological evidence that fermented beverages (in stone jugs) dated back 7,000 years ago. the jugs did contain rice, which is pretty much an agricultural (a nonpaleo diet grain) product. but that is already pretty far back and I think it doesn't stretch the imagination too much to envision an alcoholic beverage containing just wild plants, like berries.

    Now they wouldn't be distilling anything in the Paleozoic, so it would just be like a wine (beer? mead?). So maybe an elderberry wine could be a paleo-cocktail?

    Vegans have a much broader selection of cocktails. Just another reason that vegan is the smarter diet. :)
     
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  15. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Seems like a week doesn't go by without another article on how carbs are good (or not so bad).

    This one is from the Business Insider.

    We're learning more about which carbs
    you should never cut from your diet

    https://www.businessinsider.com/healthy-carbs-you-should-never-cut-from-your-diet-2018-9

    One of the highlights
    "Some of the healthiest carbs for your body and brain are whole grains, starchy vegetables, peas and squash — which are high in fiber."
     
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  16. Emma JC
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    Emma JC Active Member

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    Which is why I like to call myself a Starchivore. :)

    Emma JC
     
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