Food & Nutrition

This Is the Right Amount of Carbs to Eat for a Longer Life

Eating everything in moderation won’t just keep your taste buds happy—it keeps you healthy!

Wooden table full of fiber-rich whole foods, perfect for a balanced dietnehophoto/Shutterstock

There’s some good news for people who love carbs! People who eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates may actually live longer, according to a recent study published by the Lancet Public Health.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston tracked and analyzed the diets of more than 15,000 middle-aged U.S. adults for 25 years. After adjusting for lifestyle factors such as exercise habits, smoking status, etc., the study authors found that people who get about half of their total calorie intake from carbohydrates each day had a lower risk of early death compared to people who ate more than 70 percent or less than 40 percent of their total calories from carbohydrates. Check out how these myths about carbs could be ruining your health.

In fact, people who ate a moderate amount of carbs at age 50 were estimated to live until they were 83! But high-carb eaters and low-carb eaters were given a life expectancy of 79 and 82, respectively. The results were corroborated by existing studies from other countries across the globe, which also revealed similar trends between carb intake and life expectancy.

Aside from the quantity, the authors do note that the quality of the carbohydrates may also play an influential role in overall health and mortality risk. The researchers explain that people who load up on the carbs may also be consuming large amounts of refined carbohydrates like white rice or white bread, which lack nutritional value and may have health and weight consequences down the road. On the other end of the spectrum, people who cut out carbs or reduce their carb intake often replace them with meat and dairy products, which can increase their risks for heart disease and death. These are the 9 times you should never, ever eat carbs.

The researchers do recognize that their data is only based on observations that don’t prove a cause and effect relationship between death and eating too many or too little carbs. But overall, it appears that the study shows that the old saying “everything in moderation” still reigns true. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to cut carbs, make sure you’re replacing them with healthier plant-based proteins and fats such as beans or nuts. Next, read up on the 12 silent signs you should be eating more carbs!


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