Low Carb Diet may Increase Heart Disease Risk: study

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There is constantly an ongoing argument about which diets are best for helping people lose weight or improve their health. One diet that the health community cannot relatively decide on is the low-carb diet. Some feel that the low-carb diet proposes an easy and simple solution for losing weight, but new research indicates there may be a connection between low-carb diets and an increased risk of heart disease.


Many studies have explored the contrast of a low-carbohydrate diet against the one that is low in fat. In 2003, two studies published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine found that overweight patients on a low-carb diet lost more weight about five kg to six kg, than those on a low-fat diet, who lost about two kg to three kg. Those on a low-carb diet also notice a drop in their blood triglyceride and had raised good cholesterol levels more so than the group on a low-fat diet. Both diets helped to lower the patients’ diastolic blood pressure considerably and reduced their inclination to be diabetic. Although the low-carb diet appears more favorable, the drop-out rate was very high, which meant that long standing devotion is a problem. There is also concern that the increased protein and fat consumption may be bad for the heart.


There has only been single study that observed the influence of a low-carb diet on the blood flow of coronary arteries that pump blood to the heart muscles. Twenty-six participants were examined. The researchers, Dr. Richard Fleming, used SPECT scans to measure blood flow within coronary arteries. All twenty-six participants were then put on a vegetarian diet. After one year, Dr. Fleming measured the blood flow again. When the participants showed up, Dr. Fleming learned that ten of them had switched to a low-carb diet. This allowed the doctor to inspect the changes between a low and high carb diet.

The sixteen participants that stayed on the vegetarian diet had twenty percent less plaque in their arteries compared to the outcomes of their tests at the start of the study. Those that switched to a low-carb diet actually experienced a regular increase of forty to fifty percent more artery blockage at the end of the year. Since this is the individual study that has directly looked at the impact of a low-carb diet on heart health, it seems that a low-carb diet may not be the healthiest choice. It can help you lose weight and may not elevate your cholesterol levels, which leads many to believe that it must be good for you.

Unfortunately, this study indicates that a low-carb diet could harm your heart by restricting blood flow through your coronary arteries. The simple fact is that there is not one diet that is perfect for everyone. The best recommendation is to make the decision to eat healthy, by including more healthy options in your everyday meals.


This revelation places the focus directly on the individual components of the diet. As the low-carb diet has less than thirty percent of the energy from carbohydrates, the rest of the calories must come from fat and protein. Plant protein, mainly soy and soy products, can also be used. A healthy low-carbohydrate dietary pattern should put emphasis on dietary fiber consumption derived from whole grains, fiber-rich fruit, low-carbohydrate vegetables (such as green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables and legumes), olive and vegetable oils, avocado, soy, fish and chicken, and limit or remove consumption of processed and unprocessed red meat as well as starchy vegetables and refined grains. For a heart-healthier and fuller meal, cut down on red meat or fatty meat and eat more leafy vegetables.


A plant-based diet contains all types of vegetables, fruit, grains, nuts and seeds and processed products made from them, such as sugar, oil and bread. Most people would look at it as healthy although it may not always be the case. A diet that features plenty of fruit juice, refined grains like potatoes and its products, white bread, sugar-sweetened beverages, sweets and desserts, can damage the heart. In contrast, healthier choices in a plant-based diet will be whole grains, fruit, nuts, vegetables, oils and tea. The same study found that consuming these items will cut one’s risk of heart disease by up to twenty-five per cent.


A low-carb diet may be a good short-term weight-loss solution for fat people, but it may not be very safe for them to continue this diet in the long run. To maintain their weight, they can consider going on a Mediterranean diet, which has been verified to be effective in preventing heart disease. To maintain their weight, they can consider going on a Mediterranean diet, which has been proven to be effective in preventing heart disease. This sort of diet encourages the consumption of olive oil instead of other saturated fat sources. It also features a high intake of leafy greens, cereals, nuts, bread, pulses, fruit, or legumes.

Meanwhile, one should stick to a low to modest consumption of fish and other poultry, dairy products and red wine, and eat minimal amounts of red meat, eggs and sweets. Doing so has been revealed to lower the danger of stroke, heart attack and death from heart disease by up to thirty per cent, compared with a control diet. So in conclusion, a low-carbohydrate diet decreases body weight and improves cardiovascular risk factors.

Decreasing the quantity and improving the quality of carbohydrate consumption by taking healthy carbohydrate alternatives, such as olive oil, avocado, chicken, green leafy vegetables, fish, and soy products, may decrease the danger of cardiovascular disease in addition to producing weight loss. In light of new proof from randomized controlled trials, dietary guidelines and rules should be re-visited supporting a healthy low-carbohydrate dietary pattern as an alternate dietary plan for the prevention of obesity and cardiovascular disease.

Reference: straitstimes.com/singapore/health/are-diets-for-weight-loss-good-for-the-heart

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