Fad diets are not new, and yes, you can lose weight and see some positive results in the short term, but what effect does a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet have on your long-term health? Recent research published by The Lancet found that restricted carbohydrate levels replaced or supplemented by animal-based protein and fat sources could lead to a higher risk of premature death. Dr Sara Seidelmann, study author, cardiologist, and Clinical Research Fellow said: “We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection. Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy. However, our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged.
Professor Maciej Banach headed other research at the European Society of Cardiology and warns, “Low carbohydrate diets are unsafe and should be avoided.” Compared to those in the highest carbohydrate group, those who ate the lowest carbohydrates had a 32% higher risk of all-cause death over 6 years. In addition, risks of death from heart disease and cancer were increased by 51% and 35%, respectively.
These massive global studies are another reminder that focusing on healthy, plant-based whole foods is a better long-term strategy than dieting.