Following a low-carbohydrate diet in which plants, rather than animals, are the main source of fat and protein can lower the overall risk of death in the consumers.
Previous studies have reported that low-carbohydrate diets can promote weight loss and improve blood cholesterol levels. According to the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, adopting a higher-vegetable low-carbohydrate diet is associated with a 20 percent lower risk of death.
A low-carbohydrate diet rich in meat, on the other hand, increases the mortality rate by 23 percent. A diet rich in meat is linked with higher risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases. It, similarly, increases the risk of cancer-related death, albeit not significantly.
Following "Eco-Atkins" diet which is rich in vegetable-derived fats and proteins, on the other hand lowers the overall risk of death and heart disease-related mortality rate by about 20 percent.
Lack of unsaturated fats, dietary fiber, micronutrients and other vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in meat-based diets may be responsible for the high death rate in individuals following a meat-rich diet.
"These results suggest that the health effects of a low-carbohydrate diet may depend on the type of protein and fat, and a diet that includes mostly vegetable sources of protein and fat is preferable to a diet with mostly animal sources of protein and fat," said lead researcher Frank B. Hu.