According to the BBC, a recent study in The Lancet Public Health found that diets low in carbs and high in animal-based fats, like the Atkins or Keto diet, could shorten life expectancy by up to four years.
The study was conducted over 25 years and reviewed questionnaires filled out by 15,400 people from the U.S. on the food and drink they consumed, along with portion sizes.
The scientists estimated the proportion of calories people received from carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The researchers concluded that those who got 50-55 percent of their energy from complex carbohydrates had a lower risk of death compared to those who consumed low and high levels of carbohydrates.
These findings were similar to past studies that included more than 400,000 people from more than 20 countries. Furthermore, the scientists found that replacing carbohydrates with more plant-based proteins and fats, such as legumes and nuts, reduced the risk of mortality.
Clinical and research fellow in cardiovascular medicine from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston Dr. Sara Seidelmann said:
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 life span and should be discouraged. Instead, if one chooses to follow a low carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term.
Countless studies prove that plant-based foods are significantly healthier than animal products. Scientists have shown that a plant-based diet reduces one’s risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. In fact, a recent study from Harvard Medical School found that at least one-third of early deaths could be prevented if everyone switched to a plant-based diet.
What’s more, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that long-term vegetarians lived on average 3.6 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.
But eating vegan foods isn’t just great for your health; it also protects the planet and spares farmed animals a life of misery.
At factory farms, animals are subjected to intense and horrific abuse: gruesome mutilations, cramped confinement and overcrowding, and violent, bloody slaughter. If we treated just one dog or cat the way the meat, dairy, and egg industries treat billions of animals, we’d be behind bars for animal abuse.