mobile-bannertablet-bannerdesktop-banner
Bread, Slices And Bread Knife
Getty Images

Research on Mice Suggests We Could Be Better Off Eating More Healthy Carbs and Less Protein

May 29, 2015
TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

While calorie-restriction diets are known to have positive health benefits, a group of researchers in Australia has found that, in mice, a low-protein high-carbohydrate diet produces similar results regardless of caloric intake.

If the study bears out for humans, it could rehabilitate the image of carbohydrates, which has taken a battering in recent years, when the high-protein Atkins and Paleo diets have reigned supreme.

Scientists at the University of Sydney put mice on varying diets in terms of the proportion of carbohydrates, protein and total calories consumed. They found that, in terms of insulin, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, mice on unrestricted low-protein high-carb diets fared best.

"It still holds true that reducing food intake and body weight improves metabolic health and reduces the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease," said senior author Stephen Simpson of the University of Sydney. "However...it appears that including modest intakes of high-quality protein and plenty of healthy carbohydrates in the diet will be beneficial for health as we age."

The next step, according to the scientists, will be to learn if specific types of proteins and carbohydrates make a difference in long-term health.

QUIZ: Should You Eat This or That?

Which is better for you: A 1/2 cup of ice cream or 3 scoops of sorbet?
Which is better for you: Half cup of ice cream or 3 scoops of sorbet?Getty Images (4)
Which is better for you: A 1/2 cup of ice cream or 3 scoops of sorbet?
Answer: A 1/2 cup of ice cream
Which is better for you: Real butter or spray on fake butter?
Answer: Butter
Which is better for you: A sirloin burger or a turkey burger?
Which is better for you: Almonds or pretzels?
Answer: Almonds
Which is better for you: Eggs or Special K?
Answer: Eggs
84505234
Answer: Regular salad dressing
Which is better for you: A low fat cookie or dark chocolate?
Answer: Dark chocolate “People tend to believe fat free is calorie free,” says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian in New York City. “Go for the real thing.” Fat free cookies may be lower in fat, but higher in other ingredients like sugar. Try a nice piece of dark chocolate for those antioxidants.
Which is better for you: Low fat Greek yogurt or 100 calorie Yoplait yogurt?
Answer: Low fat Greek Yogurt
Which is better for you: Half cup of ice cream or 3 scoops of sorbet?
Getty Images (4)
1 of 16
TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.