Remember super low-carb diets?
Have you heard of the no-carb diet?
Just a few years ago, no-carb and low-carb, high-protein diet books and plans became best-sellers overnight as TV doctors, talk shows, and morning wake-up news programs spouted the benefits of carbohydrate-less meals.
Why are low-carb diets so popular? It’s because…
Low-carb diets work.
In fact, I actually suggest starting with lower levels of NET CARBS in my diet guide, Lean Body Diet (Lean Body Diet is included with 90 Day Ultimate Lean Body Program – the introductory MAX Workouts program).
Because they work so well, low-carb diets are super popular—but recent research suggests that you need to be careful.
There’s a direct connection between a specific type of carb and your health that I want to share with you right now—it was the topic of a recent study of men and women over age 49 and it proves a point I’ve been sharing as part of the Lean Body Diet (included in 90 Day Ultimate Lean Body Program) for years now.
Until recently, researchers didn’t understand how low-carb dieting changed long-term health outcomes. Now, the latest research is now changing the way researchers and doctors look at super low-carb diets.
When Dieting Goes Wrong
How often do you think about the long-term consequences of your diet?
Most of the clients I’ve worked with in my career as a personal trainer, coach, and soft tissue therapist don’t think twice about the impact a diet can have on overall health.
Here’s what I mean:
- When you start a new diet, the goal is usually to “lose weight.”
- We’re told losing weight is healthy (because it is).
- We know losing weight will make us feel better (because it does).
- We know our blood pressure will likely go down, our cholesterol levels will decrease, the risk of heart attack will fall (if you’ve overweight and you lose weight, all of this is likely to be true – just ask your doctor). After you lose weight, you’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll look better, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be “fit…”
…and because we know all the desirable immediate benefits of weight loss, we’re often willing to cling to anything that might work.
But How Does Diet and Nutrition Impact Your Health in the Long Term?
Low-carb diet may help you lose weight faster – but IF YOU AVOID ALL CARBS - a low to no-carb diet they may also have a negative impact on your health.
That’s what a recent study published in the Journals of Gerontology (in October 2016) suggests.
During this study, 1,609 adults age 49 and older who were healthy (defined as free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke) at the start of the study were monitored for 10 years.
- Researchers collected dietary data, monitoring what study participants ate over this 10-year period.
- They followed how participants aged (if participants experienced chronic disease, respiratory disease, depression, disability, and more) during this 10-year period.
- And researchers established a connection between what participants ate and how well they aged.
The study found that 246 of the 1,609 participants (15.5%) “aged successfully 10 years later). Here’s a look at what the study concluded about nutritional intake and successful aging:
The Carbohydrate-Health Connection
During the study, researchers found a clear connection between higher fiber intake from breads, cereals, and fruits and better health over a 10-year period. Fiber is a type of carb your body can’t digest.
According to the study, “consumption of dietary fiber from breads/cereals and fruits independently influenced the likelihood of aging successfully over 10 years.”
Researchers continued by stating, “these findings suggest that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional.”
Keep in mind that there are foods much healthier and just as high in fiber than grains and cereal, as stated in my Lean Body Diet.
So what does this mean for your diet?
An “80% Greater Likelihood” of Better Heath for the Next 10 Years For People Age 49 and Over.
According to Dr. Bamini Gopinath, “out of of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake—which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest—had the strongest influence.”
She continued, “we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability.”
Your Body Needs Carbohydrates: In the Form of Fiber.
This study suggests that people nearing age 50 and over should be careful when following low-carb diets.
The results of this study show that fiber – a form of carbohydrate – may have a direct impact on your ability to maintain health as you age.
What does this mean?
If you’re going to follow a low-carb diet – be sure that it does not eliminate all carbohydrates.
If you’re nearing age 50 (or really any age), be sure to incorporate cruciferous vegetables, safe starches, and some fruits (… not bread and cereals) that contain FIBER in your diet.
My suggestion (as detailed in the Lean Body Diet) is to keep your net carb intake relatively low by consuming carbs containing plenty of fiber – “net carbs’ can be calculated by subtracting grams of fiber from the total carbohydrates in the food you eat.
NOTE: BTW, if you want a refresher about the low carb diet you check out the Lean Body Diet again. You can access the book under “My Books” in the MAX Workout Club Member Area.