Wait! You don’t need to stop eating carbs! Research shows carbs help healthy ageing 39



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Throw out all the rules books: carbs are actually much better for you than we’ve been told. New research has shown that low protein, high carbohydrate diets can have benefits similar to when calories are restricted i.e. your typical diet.

Published in yesterday issue of Cell Reports, senior author Stephen Simpson, Academic Director of the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre said, “We’ve shown that when compared head-to-head, mice got the same benefits from a low protein, high carbohydrate diet as a 40 per cent caloric restriction diet.

“Except for the fanatical few, no one can maintain a 40 per cent caloric reduction in the long term, and doing so can risk loss of bone mass, libido, and fertility”.

The investigators compared three 8-week diets varying in protein-to-carbohydrate ratio under conditions where food was restricted or food was available at all times. Of the three, low protein, high carbohydrate (LPHC) diets offered when food was always available delivered similar benefits as calorie restriction in terms of insulin, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, despite increased food intake.

Interestingly, the mice eating LPHC diets ate more when they could but their metabolism was still higher than those mice who had restricted calories – and they didn’t gain more wait. There were no benefits of restricting calories in this research.

“An important next step will be to determine exactly how specific amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, contribute to overall health span and lifespan,” says lead author Samantha Solon-Biet, also of the Charles Perkins Centre.

If the study’s results apply to humans, adjusting protein and carbohydrate intake could lead to healthier ageing in a more realistic manner than drastically cutting calories.

“It still holds true that reducing food intake and body weight improves metabolic health and reduces the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease,” says Simpson. “However, according to these mouse data and emerging human research, it appears that including modest intakes of high-quality protein and plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the diet will be beneficial for health as we age”.


Tell us, what sort of diet are you on? Or do you try to eat healthier more consistently?

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  1. So our fertility is at risk? Must try this!

  2. My family and I went paleo about four months ago (http://fullhealthguru.com/restart), and I have to say, not only is it fantastic for weight loss, but it’s amazing for overall health. My husband suffered from insomnia and anxiety, and even that has diminished significantly because of the healthier diet. With myself, I lost a good 25 pounds, but beyond that – I just feel more energetic.

    1 REPLY
  3. Absolute rubbish! LOW carbs is the healthy way of eating. I have been eating low-carb, healthy fat for the past 6 months or more and my weight has dropped, my blood sugars have normalised and my latest blood panel even had my doctor asking how I had managed to turn it around so successfully. Carbs turn to sugar/glucose in your body and that is not good.

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    • Could not agree more. I have been eating low carb (note that is not ‘no carb’) with lean protein and plenty of meat and vegies for the past 7 months and have lost 17 kgs.

    • Good on you Noni … fantastic weight loss! I don’t have lean protein … I have saturated fats and for me they have been the key to my success.

    • So true Caryn, i reckon it is that food pyramid produced by the YS and influenced by grain farmers is one of the reasons for obesity and diabetes!

    • Jacqueline I limit my carbs to 20g or under per day (or 5% of my daily food intake). I have cut all sugar and grains from my diet and don’t eat root vegetables as are they are very heavy in carbs. No milk but I do have cream. It does involve a lot of label reading to ensure the carb content is low. Slowly doctors are starting to realise the benefits of eating this way but it is a slow journey to their enlightenment. Dietitians are still stuck in the past on this and considering their governing body is sponsored by companies like Nestle it is not surprising!

  4. As long as I don’t have to give up my spag bol I will be happy.

  5. The mouse population must be thrilled to hear this news; it’ll make their shopping so much easier.

  6. I don’t follow any diet. I eat what I’ve always eaten. Plenty of greens and other veggies. Fruit red and white meat. Wine Occasional beer. White rum and pepsi. Chocolate and anything sweet. Maybe carrying few extra pounds but if I get sick I have some body weight to lose. You find when most women get sick and they are skinny it takes longer for them to recover.

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