Popular fad diets could increase your risk of dying early, study suggests

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Fad diets often carry the promise of better health and quick weight loss.

However, experts often warn that trendy food regimens could be taxing on your health in ways you wouldn’t expect.

While low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets might seem like a great measure for improving your blood sugar levels and keeping your weight in check, their long-term effects on life expectancy are less clear.

Worryingly, a new study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, has warned that extreme dietary habits for carbohydrates and fats could increase your risk of dying early. 

Evaluating these dietary patterns and the risk of mortality, the research team from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan conducted a follow-up survey over a period of nine years with 81,333 Japanese participants.

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Their intake of carbohydrates, fats, and total energy was measured using a food frequency questionnaire.

Furthermore, the researchers also considered the carbohydrates and fats the subjects were consuming, including refined, minimally processed, saturated and unsaturated variations.

Their findings revealed that mortality was linked to low-carbohydrate intake in men and to high carbohydrate intake in women.

Men who consumed less than 40 percent of their total energy from carbs experienced significantly higher risks of all-cause and cancer-related mortality. 

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The trend was consistent regardless of whether refined or minimally processed carbohydrates were considered. 

On the other hand, women with a high carbohydrate intake of more than 65 percent had a higher risk of all-cause mortality. 

When it came to fats, men with an intake of more than 35 percent of their total energy from fats had a higher risk of cancer-related mortality. 

The researchers also found that a low intake of unsaturated fat in men was associated with a higher risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality. 

In contrast, total fat intake and saturated fat intake in women showed an inverse association with the risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality. 

Dr Takashi Tamura, who led the study, said: “The finding that saturated fat intake was inversely associated with the risk of mortality only in women might partially explain the differences in the associations between the sexes.

“Alternatively, components other than fat in the food sources of fat may be responsible for the observed inverse association between fat intake and mortality in women.”

The research team concluded that low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets may not be the healthiest strategy for promoting longevity because their short-term benefits could potentially be outweighed by long-term risks.

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