The Impact of Carb and Fat Consumption on Longevity Gender Differences Explored
A recent study from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan sheds light on how extremes in carb and fat consumption can affect one’s lifespan, highlighting distinct gender differences in the risk. This research examined individuals who were in good health at the outset, offering valuable insights into the impact of diet on longevity.
Gendered Risks The study reveals that men who consume insufficient carbohydrates face a significantly increased risk of all-cause mortality. Conversely, women who consume inadequate levels of dietary fat exhibit a slightly higher risk of all-cause and cancer-related mortality.
Complex Relationship with Carbohydrates Carbohydrate consumption showed varying results based on gender. Men who obtained less than 40% of their daily calories from carbohydrates faced a notably higher risk of all-cause mortality. In contrast, women who consumed over 65% of their calories from carbohydrates also experienced an elevated risk of all-cause mortality.
Dietary Fat and Its Impact For men, excessive dietary fat intake, exceeding 35% of daily calories, correlated with an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular mortality. Within the fat category, saturated fat did not show a clear association for men, while insufficient unsaturated fat intake has linked to higher all-cause and cancer-related mortality.
Conversely, women benefited from higher fat consumption, particularly saturated fats, which lowered their risk of all-cause and cancer mortality.
Study Caveats and Expert Opinions Cardiology dietitian Michelle Routhenstein cautioned that the study suggests that low-carb and fat low-fat weight loss diets for women could potentially reduce longevity.
Clinical nutrition epidemiologist Prof. Linda Van Horn expressed concerns about misinterpretation, emphasizing that the study’s findings should not applied to fad diets. She underscored the importance of considering different populations, particularly in the context of the United States with its obesity rates and dietary habits.
Sources of Saturated and Unsaturated Fats The article highlights sources of saturated fats such as red meat, coconut oil, butter, palm oil, and full-fat dairy. Unsaturated fats can found in foods like avocados, olives, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and corn oil.
Exploring the Risks Prof. Van Horn suggested that the increased need for carbohydrates in men may influenced by factors like poor dietary quality, limited access to healthcare, smoking, and alcohol consumption. As for women, their lower BMI might lead to reduced sugar and alcohol intake, resulting in a higher percentage of fat in their diet.
Routhenstein pointed out the importance of fat intake in women for hormone production, such as estrogen, which offers cardioprotection.
A Call for Further Research The study underscores the need for more research, particularly in Western countries like the United States. Conducting similar studies with representative local populations could yield actionable findings that consider the specific dietary and health landscape of each region.