The study analyzed 34 years of health data from 7,224 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study and 2,877 men participating in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, all of whom developed type 2 diabetes after those studies began. The participants completed questionnaires on lifestyle and medical history every other year, allowing the researchers to assess the compositions of their diets and score them according to intake of animal proteins and fats, vegetable proteins and fats, high-quality carbohydrates, and low-quality carbohydrates.
The findings of the study revealed a 24% reduction in mortality among those who followed a low-carbohydrate dietary plan. The health benefits were stronger for low-carbohydrate diets that focused on plant-based foods and high-quality carbohydrates, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Those diets were also associated with a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer mortality.
Low-carbohydrate diets that emphasized animal products and low-quality carbohydrates, such as potatoes, added sugars, and refined grains, were not significantly associated with lower mortality.
The researchers observed the strongest health benefits among people adhering to other healthy habits, such as not smoking, regularly exercising, and drinking alcohol in moderation, alongside a plant-based low-carbohydrate diet.
“This study, once again, underscores the importance of diet quality when choosing among various diets for diabetes control and management,” said Qi Sun, senior author and associate professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology.
- Low-Carbohydrate Diet Scores and Mortality Among Adults With Incident Type 2 Diabetes – (https:pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36787923/)