A low carbohydrate diet is recommended for cutting down daily calorie intake. However, not all forms of low carbohydrate diets are beneficial for health. In a new study reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers at Simmons College in Boston have found that a vegetable protein based low carbohydrate diet is better than low carbohydrate diets with high meat protein content.
Low carbohydrate, high meat protein diet lowers life expectancy
The quality of a low carbohydrate diet is determined by the types of proteins and fats present in it. The study tracked the diet of about 130,000 health professionals for at least twenty years. The researchers found that compared to individuals on low carbohydrate diet based primarily on vegetarian sources of proteins and fats, people on a low carb diet that relied on animal sources as the main source of proteins and fats had a greater risk of dying earlier from any cause. A meat based low carbohydrate diet increases the risk of death from any cause by 23 per cent. People following this diet have 14 per cent higher risk of heart related deaths and 28 per cent greater risk of cancer deaths. On the other hand, people on vegetable-based low carbohydrate diet had 20 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause. They had 23 per cent lower risk of heart-related deaths.
How protein type in low carbohydrate diet affects mortality
Despite similarity in the macronutrient contents in both the diets, source of the nutrients might affect your health. Besides supplying essential amino acids, vegetables in the diet will also provide vitamins, minerals, fibers, healthy fatty acids and phytochemicals that are essential for healthy living. However, meat proteins are devoid of essential nutrients that can prevent heart diseases, cancers and several other health disorders.
Sources of vegetable proteins
Nuts, beans and peas are the best sources of vegetable proteins. Cereals and whole grain products are rich sources of protein. Soybeans and soy products such as soymilk and tofu are packed with high quality amino acids. Soy could be used as meat substitutes in your meals. Blue green algae and spirulina supplements could be included in your vegetable protein based low calorie diet.