Reduced carbohydrate intake may improve several cardiovascular risk factors, but additional research is needed.When many people envision a low-carbohydrate diet, they envision dishes heaped with red meat, bacon, and butter. Low-carbohydrate diets, which are frequently high in saturated fat, have long been considered bad for the heart. However, a study published online on Sept. 28, 2021, in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, discovered that a small amount of saturated fat may be OK if the rest of the diet is healthy.
The researchers discovered that following a well-designed low-carbohydrate diet plan appeared to minimize several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is despite the fact that saturated fat made up 21% of daily calories, which is more than double the amount of fat you should eat each day.
However, this does not mean you should remove all of the bread from your meal. It is premature to declare that a low-carbohydrate diet is actually heart-healthy. One cause for concern is that the researchers picked an unusually low-carbohydrate diet. "This was not a bacon and steak diet. This included nuts and lentils, vegetarian sloppy joes, salmon, and a variety of vegetables.
Additionally, the study lasted only 20 weeks, suggesting that a low-carb diet may not produce the same benefits over a longer length of time. In addition, the study looked at only risk factors for cardiovascular disease, not heart attacks or strokes, which are real things that happen.
Concerning the study
To reach their conclusions, the researchers examined a group of 164 volunteers, 70% of whom were women, who had recently reduced between 10% and 14% of their body weight using a regimented diet. They were randomly allocated to one of three diet strategies aimed at assisting them in maintaining their new weight loss. Each diet contained the same amount of protein—20% of daily calories—but varied in its carbohydrate and saturated fat content. They included the following:
A low-carbohydrate diet with a carbohydrate content of 20% and a saturated fat content of 21% is recommended. A moderate-carbohydrate diet, which contained 40% carbohydrate and 14% saturated fat, and a high-carbohydrate diet, which contained 60% carbohydrate and 7% saturated fat,
The researchers provided prepared, personalized meals to each participant to assist them in adhering to the diet. Before and during the study, they looked at changes in a number of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
To assess each participant's cardiovascular risk, the researchers calculated a composite score called lipoprotein insulin resistance (LPIR). This score is calculated using a number of variables, including the properties of lipids (fats) in the blood and insulin resistance markers (how well the body uses insulin to convert food into energy). The researchers came to the conclusion that the low-carb diet improved this LPIR score more than the moderate- and high-carb diets.
Examining the diet plans
While the low-carbohydrate diet achieved the highest results in this research, this type of diet may not be the best option for many people. While the diet featured a variety of nutritious items, it remained rather limited.
Many people may have difficulty keeping to this diet for an extended length of time. Consider a world without bread, rice, or potatoes. "
The moderate-carb method, which permits carbs to account for 40% of calories, maybe a more realistic approach.
The moderate carbohydrate plan comprises around the same number of carbs as a typical American diet, which is approximately 50% carbs.
The researchers' moderate diet allowed for greater variety—an English muffin, a slice of bread, or a small bit of rice. While the low-carbohydrate diet excluded desserts, the moderate-carbohydrate diet permitted the occasional slice of cake or pie. "That may be a more attainable goal for them. It makes no difference how nutritious a diet is if individuals are unable to adhere to it. "
A Mediterranean-style diet, which has long been lauded for its health benefits, falls comfortably within this moderate daily carbohydrate range. Lean meats, olive oil, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables are all included.
Applying the results
Carbohydrates, especially those from processed or refined foods that aren't whole foods, can be bad for you, but it's also important to pick the right diet for your lifestyle and tastes.
There are two factors to consider while selecting an eating plan: 1
Is it healthy? Consider the things you eat, not just their carbohydrate content. While a low-carbohydrate diet high in butter and other animal products can be beneficial, one that emphasizes veggies and good fats like olive oil or nuts is significantly riskier.
Is it sustainable? Consider whether you can maintain a diet for an extended period of time. A healthy eating plan is a way of life, not a quick fix.
The main message is that when it comes to carbohydrate restriction, there is a healthy approach and a harmful way. I would argue that there is no one-size-fits-all diet. Discover your ideal diet—one that is not only healthy but also sustainable. "
Questions and Answers about the Low Carb Diet
Is it possible for a low-carbohydrate diet to cause heart problems?People are eating this way in increasing numbers, not to lose weight, but because they believe it is healthier. Nonetheless, many physicians advise that low-carbohydrate diets are harmful. A lot of people who follow low-carb diets are at a higher risk of having a heart attack or having a stroke, and dying early.
Do carbohydrates have an effect on your heart?
Carbohydrates and Cardiovascular Health
"Carbohydrates are not harmful to your heart if you consume a mix of whole, minimally processed carbohydrates in moderation." For instance, quinoa is a nutritious carbohydrate, but three to four cups at a time are excessive for the majority of people. "
Can keto assist with heart disease?
According to researchers, a ketogenic diet may benefit people with heart disease by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress. Experts say that taking ketone supplements may be better than going on a ketogenic diet.
Does a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Lower Blood Pressure?
A new study found that not only was a low-carbohydrate diet as effective as the weight loss pill orlistat (the active ingredient in Alli and Xenical) at helping overweight and obese people lose weight, but those who followed the low-carb diet also saw a significant drop in their blood pressure.
What are the disadvantages of a low-carbohydrate diet?
Severe carbohydrate restriction may force your body to convert fat to ketones for energy. This is referred to as ketosis. Ketosis can cause a lot of bad things, like bad breath, headaches, tiredness, and weakness.
Sudden and extreme carbohydrate restrictions can result in transient side effects such as
cramping in the muscles.
Do carbohydrates block the arteries?
A study led by Harvard researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) provides some of the first evidence on this subject, demonstrating that mice fed a 12-week low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet develop significant atherosclerosis, a buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart.
What do cardiovascular specialists have to say about the keto diet?
A cardiologist in New York says the Keto diet is based on incorrect information and that he would never recommend it to a patient. According to one famous New York cardiologist, the keto diet is a "mistake" that drives patients to forego consuming healthful, nutrient-dense foods.
Get a free consultation from the Melody Jacob Health Team. Send us an email at email@example.com if you have any questions about whether a low-carbohydrate diet would be beneficial to your heart. Thanks for reading.