Carbs Can Help You Live Longer, So Bring On The Guilt-Free Grub

by Thea Glassman
Image via agrobacter/Getty

This is not a drill: eating carbs can actually add years to your life

Are you ready for the absolute best news you’ll hear all day? There’s a new study that shows eating carbs will actually help you live longer, which means you don’t have to feel guilty about not following that low-carb diet like all your mom friends claim they do.

The study, which was published in The Lancet Public Health Journal, surveyed a total of 432,179 subjects and found that 20% of the people who eat fewer carbs were at a higher risk for death. Meanwhile, people who eat a moderate amount of carbs were expected to live about 3-4 years longer.

Cool, cool, cool. I’ll keep talking and you start eating.

“Low-carb diets that replace carbohydrates with protein or fat are gaining widespread popularity as a health and weight loss strategy,” the study’s leader Dr. Sara Seidelmann told The New York Post. “However, our data suggests that animal-based low-carb diets, which are prevalent in North America and Europe, might be associated with shorter overall lifespan and should be discouraged.”

If you’re still dead set on staying away from carbs, there are some ways to stick to your diet without dying earlier than you’d prefer (many apologies for the morbidness of it all).

“Alternatively, when restricting carbohydrate intake, replacement of carbohydrates with predominantly plant-based fats and proteins could be considered as a long-term approach to promote healthy aging,” the study noted.

But carbohydrates really don’t deserve the bad rap that they usually get. Nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert explained to The Sun that they can actually be packed with some really important nutrients.

“Just because carbs are not essential for survival, that doesn’t mean they aren’t beneficial,” she said. “Many carb-containing foods are healthy and nutritious, such as fruit and vegetables. These foods have all sorts of beneficial compounds and provide a variety of health benefits.”

Before you decide to eat cheesecake and only cheesecake for the rest of your life, there are, unfortunately, some limits to these findings. It turns out that people who eat above the recommended amount of carbs have a 23% higher risk of premature death.

So, basically, eat your grains (and cheesecake and pasta) with some careful abandon. But also go ahead and rejoice, because carbs are Actually Good.