Balanced diet key to longevity, study finds

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A recent study by researchers from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan, led by Dr. Takashi Tamura, highlights how extreme dietary habits involving carbohydrates and fats can impact life expectancy.

The study reveals that low carbohydrate intake in men and high carbohydrate intake in women are linked to higher all-cause and cancer-related mortality. It also suggests that higher fat intake in women may decrease the risk of all-cause mortality.

The study involved a follow-up survey over nine years with 81,333 Japanese individuals (34,893 men and 46,440 women), focusing on their carbohydrate and fat intakes and the associated mortality risks.

The researchers used food frequency questionnaires to estimate daily dietary intakes and assessed both the quantity and quality of carbohydrate and fat consumption.

Key Findings: Carbohydrates, Fats, and Mortality Risks

For men, consuming less than 40% of total energy from carbohydrates significantly increased the risks of all-cause and cancer-related mortality. This trend persisted regardless of the type of carbohydrates consumed.

Conversely, women with a carbohydrate intake exceeding 65% of total energy had a higher risk of all-cause mortality, with no specific trend observed in relation to carbohydrate quality.

Regarding fats, a high fat intake (over 35% of total energy) in men correlated with increased cancer-related mortality.

A low intake of unsaturated fats in men was also linked to higher all-cause and cancer-related mortality risks. In contrast, women’s total and saturated fat intake showed an inverse relationship with all-cause and cancer-related mortality risks.

Implications: Rethinking Diet Strategies

These findings challenge the notion that high fat intake is harmful to women’s longevity and suggest that dietary extremes, such as very low-carbohydrate or low-fat diets, may not be the most effective strategies for promoting long-term health.

The study underscores the importance of a balanced diet, avoiding extremes, and ensuring a diverse intake of nutrients for both men and women.

Conclusion: Pursuing a Balanced Diet for Longevity

The study emphasizes the need for individuals to carefully balance their diets, taking energy from a variety of food sources.

It calls for a reconsideration of popular dieting strategies, especially those that heavily restrict carbohydrate or fat intake, and highlights the potential long-term risks associated with such diets.

The research advocates for a more nuanced approach to nutrition, focusing on balance and variety to promote longevity and overall health.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

The research findings can be found in The Journal of Nutrition.

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