Warning: Your Low-Carb Diet May Increase Risk Of Heart Disease
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There is always an ongoing debate about which diets are best for helping people lose weight or improve their health. One diet that the health community cannot quite agree on is the low-carb diet.
Some feel that the low-carb diet offers a simple solution for losing weight, but recent research shows there may be a link between low-carb diets and an increased risk of heart disease.
Different Types Of Low-Carb Diets
After looking at the health of over 80,000 women during a 20-year period, researchers determined that following a low-carb diet could either lower or increase your risk of heart disease, depending on the ratio of protein, carbs, and fats.
As an example of the differences between low-carb diets, women that ate low-carb meals that were high in vegetables had a 30 percent lower risk of heart disease. At the same time, women that consumed low-carb meals that contain more animal fats and protein did not receive any benefit.
The conclusion of this study was that low-carb diets can help people manage their weight without resulting major health risks—as long as the person does not use a high protein and fat, low-carb diet.
While a low-carb diet could help you lose weight without increasing bad cholesterol, it may increase your risk of heart disease, especially if your low-carb meals are based around fatty meats. The threat does not come from an increased cholesterol but the impact that a wrong low-carb diet can have on your arteries.
The Impact Of A Low-Carb Diet On The Arteries
One study looked directly at the effect that a low-carb diet can have on arteries. They found that when someone follows a low-carb diet that contains high protein and fat they were more likely to have poor peripheral small artery function. While poor peripheral circulation can be a concern, it may not lead to heart disease.
There has only been one study that examined the impact of a low-carb diet on the blood flow of coronary arteries that pump blood to the heart muscles. 26 participants were examined. The researchers, Dr. Richard Fleming, used SPECT scans to measure blood flow within coronary arteries. All 26 participants were then placed on a vegetarian diet.
After one year, Dr. Fleming measured the blood flow again. When the participants showed up, Dr. Fleming discovered that 10 of them had switched to a low-carb diet. This allowed the doctor to examine the differences between a low-carb diet and a high carb diet.
The 16 participants that remained on the vegetarian diet had 20 percent less plaque in their arteries compared to the results of their tests at the beginning of the study. Those that switched to a low-carb diet actually experienced an average increase of 40 to 50 percent more artery blockage at the end of the year.
Since this is the only study that has directly looked at the impact of a low-carb diet on heart health, it appears that a low-carb diet may not be the healthiest option. It can help you lose weight and may not raise your cholesterol levels, which leads many to believe that it must be good for you.
Unfortunately, this study shows that a low-carb diet could damage your heart by limiting blood flow through your coronary arteries. The simple truth is that there is not one diet that is perfect for everyone. The best suggestion is to make the decision to eat healthy, by including more healthy options in your daily meals. This website is full of good ideas to start.
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