Popular Science

Low-carb diets lose their benefits when you go hard on animal products

Eliminating carbs isn't necessarily a bad thing, you just have to be smart about it.
red meat grocery

Though delicious, red meat shouldn't be a substitute for carbs.


Carbs are undeniably delicious, but for some people they’re the enemy. Should they be, though? Recent studies suggest that eating a diet very low in carbohydrates might actually harm your health, though the full picture is a bit more complicated.

Get to the point: what’s the news?

If you take nothing else away from this article, take this summary: a low-carbohydrate diet is generally only healthy if your diet is plant-based.

In as well as in prior work, including , researchers have found that people who eat few carbs and rely on plant matter for their fat and protein intake—think beans and nuts—tend to be, especially red meat, are the only low-carb dieters who seem to suffer for it. They tend to be less healthy in terms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, which are often the primary outcomes measured in these kinds of studies, and as a result they live shorter lives. This makes sense— than many animal proteins because plants contain less saturated fat, which can drive heart disease, and often have more fiber and nutrients.

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