A follow up meta-analysis of 432,179 people backed up the findings, but also discovered that results varies according to the source of macronutrients when carbs were swapped out. Mortality increased when carbohydrates were exchanged for animal-derived fat or protein from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, while mortality decreased when the substitutions were plant-based from sources like vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
Dr Sara Seidelmann, who led the research, said: “We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection.
“Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy. However, our data suggests that animal-based low carbohydrate diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall life span and should be discouraged."
“Instead, if one chooses to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, then exchanging carbohydrates for more plant-based fats and proteins might actually promote healthy ageing in the long term.”