Healthy Living

Dietary Habits Reportedly Affect Overall Death Risk

What you are eating today plays a very important role in your risk of dying in the future. A new study that analyzed the health of adults in the U.S. found that those who regularly consumed foods low in fat and carb have a lower overall death risk.

The new study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, highlights the importance of having healthy dietary habits. Researchers said they are the first to look into the effects of different qualities of low carb and low fat diets, Medical News Today reported.

“Consumption of carbohydrates from refined grains and added sugars has been adversely associated with health outcomes, whereas consumption of carbohydrates from whole grains, nonstarchy vegetables and whole fruits appears to be beneficial,” the team stated in the study. “Likewise, replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat was associated with lower risk of heart disease and mortality.”

The findings come from the analysis of data of 37,233 adults in the U.S. provided by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Researchers looked into the quality of low fat and low carb and which types may affect death risk. 

The team followed the participants for 297,768 person years. During this time, they recorded 4,866 deaths, including 849 deaths linked to heart disease and 1,068 related to cancer. 

Among all deaths, the researchers found that the people who were on poor quality low fat and low carb diets had higher total mortality risk. But those who consumed better quality low fat and low carb foods appeared with lower total mortality risk.

“Fat provides more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates and protein by weight,”  the researchers said on how food quality contributed to death risk. “A high saturated fat diet is highly palatable and may […] [lead] to overconsumption and obesity.”

The low quality carbs commonly consumed by people include refined grains and added sugars. These food products are known for providing limited nutritional value and high glycemic load, which contribute to high postprandial glucose and insulin, inflammation, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia, the researchers added. 

Despite following a large population, the team noted that their study has limitations. The researchers did not identify the specific low carb and low fat diets each participant had followed and the participants provided only self-reported data.

diet A study in 2018 found that 31 percent of the U.S. population is at risk for one vitamin deficiency. Pixabay