Low and high carb diets have same heart risks

Low and high carb diets have same heart risks

Whether you are on a low carb or a high carb diet your risk of coronary heart disease is about the same, say researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, USA. Low-carb here does not mean an Atkins diet, it means low-carb - less bread and other refined high-carb foods.

You can read about this study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers looked at a 2-decade-long study on 82,802 women (Nurses Health study). As well as finding that coronary heart disease risk is about the same for people in either low or high carb diets, they did find that those who got their fat from vegetables had a 30% lower risk of heart disease than those who got their fat from animals. The Atkins diet allows you to consume lots of fat, regardless of whether it comes from animals or plants.

Study leader, Thomas L. Halton, said "I feel the take-home message of the investigation is that neither the low-fat or low-carbohydrate dietary pattern is ideal. 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."

Hatlon said people would do well to swap their refined, high-glycemic carbohydrates for lower glycemic fruits, vegetables and wholegrains. The researchers stressed that the most important findings were that women whose dietary fat source is mainly/wholly plant based enjoy much better, long-term cardiovascular health, than women whose dietary fat comes mainly from animals.

The women who had a 'low-carb' diet in this study were not on Atkins - even those in the study at the lowest end of low-carb intake were still consuming more carbs than someone on Atkins.

Opinion of Editor of Medical-Diag.com

This study, as far as I can see, just tells you that plant-sourced fats are better for you than animal-sourced fats. As the low-carb people in the study were not on Atkins, one cannot draw any positive or negative conclusion about the Atkins diet.

There are many variables, in my opinion, which can interfere with the findings. I regularly go to the gym, the people I meet there are trying to stay fit - that is why they go. Most of the people in the gym I go to tell me they try to get as much of their dietary fat from plants as they can. They also enjoy good cardiovascular health, from what I can see and hear. Are these people healthy because of their vegetable fat intake, or because they do plenty of exercise, or a combination of both? Do people, nationally or globally, who never go to the gym or do regular exercise tend to consume more animal fat than those who regularly do exercise and/or go to the gym?

For a study to be really revealing and its findings compelling, a large number of people would have to be divided into four groups: 1. Those who eat lots of animal fats and never exercise. 2. Those who eat lots of animal fats and exercise a lot. 3. Those who eat little/no animal fat and never exercise. 4. Those who eat little/no animal fat and exercise regularly.

"Low-Carbohydrate-Diet Score and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women"

Thomas L. Halton, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., Simin Liu, M.D., Sc.D., JoAnn E. Manson, M.D., Dr.P.H., Christine M. Albert, M.D., M.P.H., Kathryn Rexrode, M.D., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.

NEJMVolume 355:1991-2002 Nov 9, 2006 Number 19

Click here to see abstract online

Editor: Medical-Diag.com

High Fat Diet and Heart Disease (Video Medical And Professional 2020).

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