For years, there has been a carb versus no-carb diet debate. After the Atkins Diet gained a big following, no-carb or low-carb diets became the rage. The release of the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study recently came out. It found that moderate amounts of plant-based carbohydrates were healthiest.
How the Study Worked…
The first of a two-part study was the Cohort Examination. It followed 15,792 men and women between the ages of 45 and 64. The study began in 1987 and completed a sixth follow-up exam from 2016 to 2017. One more exam started in 2018 and is expected to end in 2019. Every couple of years, participants were examined and interviewed. Changes in cardiovascular health were a key focus of this study.
The second part of the study was the Community Surveillance Component. In this, the medical records of around 470,000 men and women between the ages of 35 and 84 were examined. Researchers were looking at heart failure rates from 2005 on.
Participants recorded exactly what they ate each day. This included tracking portion size, beverages, and frequency. Male participants consumed between 600 to 4,200 calories per day, while women ate between 500 and 3,600 calories.
The Studies Findings
What the study found was that the participants who followed a low-carb diet or a high-carb diet had a higher risk of dying from heart disease. Those who got about 50 to 55 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates were healthier.
The study also found that plant-based proteins were healthier than animal or dairy-based proteins. Those eating a moderate amount of carbs had an average life expectancy of 83 years. Those on a low-carb diet dropped to 79 years. Participants on a high carb diet had an average life expectancy of 82 years.
What Are Some of the Healthiest Carb Options
Your parents shouldn’t try to cut carbs in order to eat healthily. They do need to focus on healthy carb choices. Skip white bread and processed crackers and pasta. Instead, your parents should aim for whole grains like barley, cracked wheat, oats, or quinoa. Sweet potatoes are a good choice. Dried beans are also great choices.
If your parents struggle with nutrition, talk to a senior care agency about meal preparation services. Caregivers can cook meals for them and even join them for a meal to add companionship. Learn more about these and other services offered by caregivers today.
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