Low-Carbohydrate(Carb) Diet Might be Beneficial for Cardiac Health

Low-Carbohydrate(Carb) Diet Might be Beneficial for Cardiac Health

The low-carbohydrate (carb) craze has taken over our collective approach to dieting. We can now buy low-carb everything: pasta, bread, cereal, peanut butter and even beer. But is low carb the best way to go? Or, is a traditional low-fat diet better? Unfortunately, the verdict is not in. Keep reading to learn about the science, or lack thereof, behind the low-carb plans.


Carbohydrates, particularly the "bad carbs" such as white potatoes, rice, pasta and bread, cause a quick rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar levels result in increased insulin levels, and increased insulin levels lead to weight gain because of increased hunger.It is based on two terms:

Glycemic Index (GI): Ranks foods according to how fast their sugars are released into the bloodstream (High GI-70 or more; Low GI-55 or less)

Glycemic Load (GL): Accounts for both the GI and how much carbohydrate a food provides in a single serving. Low-carb diets promote foods with a low GI and a low GL.

A low-carbohydrate diet does not increase the risk of heart disease in women, a major new study finds.

However, while the regimen skimped on bread and other carbohydrate foods, it was not the fatty Atkins diet that most people associate with the term "low-carb diet."

In a 20-year study involving over 82,000 women, the incidence of coronary heart disease was roughly equal for women who ate low- and high-carbohydrate diets, researchers reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Heart risk was also 30 percent lower for participants who got their protein and fat from vegetables rather than from meat, they noted.

The Atkins diet(Induction ofnot more than 20 grams/day suppose,1 1/2 slices bread or OWL: up to 60 grams/day ),which became popular after its introduction in the 1970s, allows for unlimited intake of animal fat.

"I feel the take-home message of the investigation is that neither the low-fat or low-carbohydrate dietary pattern is ideal," said researcher Thomas L. Halton, who led the study while a doctoral student at the Harvard School of Public Health. "Both have strengths and weaknesses. However, you can get the best features of both diets and eliminate the negative features of both diets by choosing healthy vegetable sources of fat and protein."

The real goal is "taking steps to reduce the glycemic load of the diet by substituting lower glycemic fruits, vegetables and whole grains as well as vegetable sources of fat and protein for refined, high-glycemic carbohydrates," said Halton, who now teaches part-time at Simmons College in Boston

In the study, researchers tracked the health of more than 82,802 women in the Nurses Health study followed for 20 years, looking especially at the incidence of coronary heart disease. The women filled out questionnaires on their eating habits, and this information was used to calculate their percentage of energy intake from carbohydrate, fat and protein.

"The main message I walked away with is that a diet rich in vegetable protein and vegetable fat appears to have a benefit in lowering heart disease risk," said Susan Moores, a nutritional consultant in St. Paul, Minn., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The women in the study reported "not what people think of as a low-carbohydrate diet, more of a moderate-carbohydrate diet," Moores said. "When you look at the amount of carbohydrates in the diets of women reporting the lowest levels, they were not eating a low-carbohydrate diet like the Atkins diet."

It's difficult to make specific recommendations based on the study because "there are so many qualifiers and questions about the diets the women actually ate," she said. "And it is hard to draw the conclusion that an Atkins-type diet affects the risk of heart disease."

But it was satisfying to see the benefits of eating plant-based fats and proteins laid out in the report, Moores said. "We have talked about it for years, and it is so nice to see it validated for a large group of women,"

So,if you choose to follow a low-carb diet plan, be sure to choose one that:

Comments

Low carb is the way to go! It

Low carb is the way to go! It helped me get over my life-long problems/struggles with various ED's (bulimia, anorexia, etc). Eliminating unhealthy carbs and sugars (breads, candies, refined grains) helped me feel alot more even (no extreme blood sugar highs and lows) and helped me deal with my food obsessions.
Not to mention, i began to develop healthy, lean muscle and feel AAAALLLLOTTTT more energetic. Make sure that you include plenty of fresh veggies and low-carb fruits (watermelons, berries, etc) and other types of healthy fiber (nuts, seeds, flax) to keep your stomach cleaned out and full.

Post new comment

Similar

Despite Health Benefits of Fiber Americans are Not Eating Recommended Amounts Fruits and Vegetables

Despite Health Benefits of Fiber Americans are Not Eating Recommended Amounts Fr Fiber has been shown to help lower cholesterol, and reduce risks of heart disease and diabetes. An important part of a healthy diet, fiber can be found in many types of foods and is available in

Obese (Overweight) People Should Avoid Fast Food / Junk Food Restaurants Meal

Obese (Overweight) People Should Avoid Fast Food / Junk Food Restaurants Meal Although the link between belly fat and health is not entirely clear, experts do know that people with a lot of belly fat are at higher risk of health problems than are people who accumulate fat in

Ispaghula (Plantago): Source, Collection, Constituents and Medicinal Uses

Ispaghula (Plantago): Source, Collection, Constituents and Medicinal Uses ISPAGHULA (Plantago) Synonyms: Psyllium seed; Flea seed: Plantain seed; Isabgol; Ishabgul Spogel seed. Biological Source: Ispaghula consists of cleaned, dried, ripe seed of Plantago psyrium Linn, or

Common Natural Medicinal Plant Drugs

Common Natural Medicinal Plant Drugs Cold and Cough : Senega, Ipecac, Squill, Glycyrrhiza and Ginger contain expectorant activity. The leaves of Angelica archangelica, Pimpinella anisum (Anise fruit), Allium saiiuum (Garlic), Thymas

Natural Flaxseed (Linseed) may Reduce Cancer Growth, Osteoporosis, Diabetes Heart Disease, Postmenopausal Hot Flashes

Natural Flaxseed (Linseed) may Reduce Cancer Growth, Osteoporosis, Diabetes Hear There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets: One type is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in some vegetable oils, such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), and flaxseed, and in

Mushroom: Beneficial or Harmful? Experts Suggesting More

Mushroom: beneficial or harmful? Experts suggesting more Vegetables are actually quite versatile, and as a nutritional powerhouse, they can form the foundation of your healthy-eating plan. Mushrooms are brimming with protein, B vitamins (riboflavin, niacin

Stevia: is It Safe Sugar Alternative??

Stevia: is It Safe Sugar Alternative?? For people who choose to avoid the use of the chemical-based sweeteners that dominate the marketplace, such as saccharin (Sweet 'N Low), aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), and sucralose (Splenda), many