Successful low-carb dieting requires the right type of protein
Getting protein from the right sources is the key to healthy, low-carbohydrate diet programs, suggests a new Nurses' Health study. According to 20 years of research into what makes low-carbohydrate diets work, researchers found that people who consume plant-based proteins--rather than animal-based proteins--tend to live healthier, longer lives.
Nearly 130,000 men and women between the ages of 34 and 75 participated in the study, which was published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Researchers followed female participants from 1980 to 2006, and male participants from 1986 to 2006, and discovered that those who ate animal-based diets tended to die sooner than those who ate vegetable-based diets. Animal-based diets also raised participants' risk of dying from cancer.
Experts believe the unique vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and micronutrients in plant foods is responsible for promoting better health, and thus a longer life. So while all participants may have consumed similar amounts of proteins and carbohydrates throughout their lives, those who consumed plant-based proteins as part of their diets achieved optimal benefit.
"Low-carbohydrate diets from animal and vegetable sources may have similar major macronutrient content, but the source of the macronutrients can result in large differences in dietary components that may affect mortality, such as specific fatty acids, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and phytochemicals," explained researchers in the report. "Therefore, the associations that we observed are more likely to be mediated by these bioactive components rather than the carbohydrate content."
The study does not differentiate between organic, grass-fed animal proteins and conventionally-raised animal proteins. However, previous research has shown that grass-fed animals produce meat that is higher in vital nutrients and good fats, and may provide similar benefits.
Sources for this story include:http://articles.latimes.com/2010/sep/06/news/la-heb-low-carb-20100906