Not many or even very few carbohydrates in the diet are recommended by scientists when the goal is to extend life expectancy.
According to a new major American study published in The Lancet Public Health, a diet that is either high in carbohydrate or very poor in the macronutrient may “cure” years of life.
The golden incision in carbohydrate consumption
In the study, the researchers collected and analyzed nutritional data for 15,400 people, which estimated how many calories each carbs, fat, and protein are consuming.
After a 25 year follow-up, the researchers found that the lowest risk of death was among those who received 50-55% of their daily calories from carbohydrates compared to those who received more or less calories from carbohydrates. Such a level of consumption is considered to be moderate and consistent with official nutritional recommendations of official bodies such as the World Health Organization.
Researchers have calculated that people in the moderate carbohydrate group from the age of 50 are expected to live an average of 33 years longer. This expectation was:
4 years longer than those who followed a low carbohydrate diet (no more than 30% of the daily calories)
2.3 years longer than those who followed a diet with few carbohydrates (30% -40% of daily calories)
1.1 years greater than those who followed a diet rich in carbohydrates (at least 65% of the daily calories).
The new findings appeared to be in line with those of an earlier study, which researchers compared to study, which involved more than 400,000 people from 20 countries.
In a second phase, the researchers compared a diet with few carbohydrates and rich in protein and fat of animal origin with a diet with few carbohydrates but rich in protein and vegetable fat. This comparison showed that replacing carbohydrates with products of animal origin (lamb, veal, pork, chicken, cheese) is associated with a slightly increased risk of death. On the contrary, replacing carbohydrates with proteins and vegetable fats, for example, legumes and nuts, seemed to slightly reduce the risk of death.
Commenting on the new findings, the head of the research team, Dr. Sarah Saidtelman of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, reports that low carbohydrate diets in which carbohydrates are replaced by protein or fat – for example, the Atkins diet or the ketogenic diet – are currently extremely popular for the loss of unnecessary pounds, but the study shows that in the long run moderate carbohydrate consumption is more beneficial.
If one decides to follow a diet with few carbohydrates, Dr Saidtelmann advises, at least should choose to replace carbohydrates with proteins or vegetable fats rather than animal, as they seem to contribute to a greater degree in healthy aging.
How many proteins, carbohydrates and fats should we eat daily?
The nutrients we need every day
The three main sources of nutrients on which we base our diet are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Typically, a healthy diet for an average human is 50% carbohydrates (as complex, not as simple as possible), 20% protein and 30% fat.
How to calculate our nutritional needs
A simple way to calculate our personal needs everyday is to multiply our weight by 25. This type is also applied to men and women who want to keep their weight and adapts accordingly when one wants to lose or take weight, or for any medical or other reason. A woman, for example, weighing 63.4 pounds, needs about 1600 calories a day to maintain the weight it has. To convert these calories into nutrients, that means eating daily 800 calories of carbohydrates, 320 protein and 480 fat.
How to ensure that we get the necessary nutrients (vitamins, minerals, trace elements)
The recommended vitamins that we must take gradually change with the age and needs of each sex. There are 4 types of vitamins that are liposoluble (A, D, E, K), and 9 species that are water soluble (8 B-vitamins and vitamin C). Other nutrients include metals, antioxidants and other phytochemicals. Of all the vitamins, folic acid (one of the B complex vitamins) and vitamin B12 have the greatest dearth among people, especially women and vegetarians.
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts will naturally supplement all the vitamins we need to take daily. A multivitamin can provide us with a daily boost to make sure we do not have a shortage. *
How to apply this information to our diet
Each gram of carbohydrates gives us 4 calories, each gram of protein also has 4 calories, and each gram of fat gives us 9. To calculate the total number of calories we get from a meal, simply divide the number of calories by the number of grams. Using the above example, if we divide 800 calories of carbohydrates with 4 calories a gram, this is equivalent to 200 grams of carbohydrates per day. Likewise, 320 calories of protein mean 80 grams of protein, and 480 calories of fat mean 53 grams of fat a day. *
How often should we eat something?
Ideally, in order to have a healthy level of energy, good metabolism, and normal blood sugar levels, we should try to eat a small meal every 3 to 4 hours. If we organize the meals that we should eat every 3-4 hours, then we will ensure that we get the three nutrients we mentioned in the right proportions. By balancing our meals to contain the equivalent amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, we will get more energy than pure proteins, carbohydrates or fats would give us.
If our calorie needs are 1600 a day, we need to target about 500 calories of each meal and some small snacks in the day. Also, eat foods with a variety of colors to make sure we get enough vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Supplements can be useful if our diet is not particularly healthy, but even when it is, we may not get the vitamins and minerals we need because of the low quality of food that is on the market.
Even fruits and vegetables, due to their modern production methods, have much lower nutrient levels than they normally do when they are naturally grown. Organic fruits and vegetables – as they are organic – are richer than conventional ones.
The fact that fats have more calories per gram does not mean they get fat, it just means that they give us more energy per gram than protein and carbohydrates. Fats are critical to maintaining our health and contribute to a variety of processes in our body, many of which help us have a healthy weight.
To maintain a healthy weight, it is also important:
To eat often so that our metabolism works and
Choosing as natural as possible food without additives.
Carbohydrates: In what amount of life extends