Nutrition News: Meat-heavy, low-carb diets can ‘shorten lifespan’: study

plant-based mealAccording to a new study in The Lancet, low-carb diets favouring animal protein and fat sources – such as lamb, beef, pork and chicken – are associated with higher mortality; those that favour plant-derived protein and fat intake from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads are associated with lower mortality.

“Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy,” said lead author Sara Seidelmann, a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston in this article from CTV News.

“However, our data suggest that animal-based low carbohydrate diets might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged.”

Replacing red meat with a plant-based protein – such as peanuts – offers a healthy way to extend life expectancy, while still getting essential vitamins and nutrients. Peanuts contain oleic acid, a heart-healthy source of unsaturated fat and are naturally 100% cholesterol-free.

A great way to gradually integrate plant-based protein into your diet as a meat-replacement is through Meatless Mondays: plan for one day a week – in this case, Monday – to feature meatless meals. The Peanut Bureau of Canada has a wide assortment of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that will kick-off your Meatless Monday routine.