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Low carb diets for a longer, leaner, livelier lifespan. VIDEO.

What is it?

Our favorite video this week features nutrition researcher Megan Hall Roberts presenting her research findings on the link between diet, longevity and athletic performance. These findings were published in the journal Cell Metabolism and have created a bit of a stir in the low-carb community.  The video was taken at the Institute of Human and Machine cognition which also home to the fantastic STEM talks podcast.

The backdrop

Over the last few years, conventional wisdom on nutrition has swung from recommending low-fat, high-carb diets (saturated fats will kill you!), to now promoting low-carb, high-fat diets (butter in your coffee, anyone?). 

By now there has been plenty of evidence that diets high in refined carbohydrates (eg. processed flours) are detrimental to general health and athletic performance.  There is also strong evidence that shows that low-carb and ketogenic diets can have powerful therapeutic effects on people with metabolic problems.  Some animal models even suggest positive effects in both lifespan and healthspan. 

So what’s new?

So does that mean we should all avoid carbs?  Not so fast, argues Roberts.  There is no one size fits all approach to nutrition. There are many nuances to the implementation of low-carb diets and their effects may change over time.  The diet that might be ideal for you right now might not work so well for you in 3 years. 

So, rather than sticking to one diet extreme or another, her findings suggest that we need more than one trick in our diet toolbox.  

Key takeaways

In the video Hall Roberts discusses: 

  • how living at dietary extremes in the long-term can be potentially detrimental to longevity, 
  • how, by implementing a well-formulated, personalized low-carb diet, an individual can optimize for both longevity and athletic performance, and 
  • factors other than nutrition that, if overlooked, could negatively impact health, performance, and longevity goals.

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