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Low-carbohydrate diets can lead to weight gain and heightened risk of heart disease, according to a new study in Sweden. About Us & ContactVegan Magazine advocates health for people, animals and the planet through a whole foods, plant-based diet. There is always an ongoing debate about which diets are best for helping people lose weight or improve their health. 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. 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. 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. 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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, this study shows that a low-carb diet could damage your heart by limiting blood flow through your coronary arteries. Coconut Butter Is Richer Than Coconut Oil: Make Your Own Healthy Butter With Hundreds Of Uses! The information provided in YourHealth is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be construed as personal medical advice or recommendation.
Use your key for the next articleNext: Product Review: Is Leptigen a Safe Weight Loss Supplement? A new diet study contradicts theories that high fat low carb ketogenic weight loss plans are linked to heart disease and diabetes. The study "challenges the conventional wisdom that has demonized saturated fat and extends our knowledge of why dietary saturated fat doesn't correlate with disease," stated senior author Jeff Volek, a professor of human sciences at The Ohio State University. Volek designed the research as a way to investigate what happens when you increase saturated fat versus what occurs in the body when carbohydrate intake is higher. As for those who want to achieve their weight loss goals with food plans such as the Atkins ketogenic diet, Volek's study also indicated that replacing carbohydrates with protein and fat is the key to both short-term and long-term success. On average, study participants lost 22 pounds after four and a half months of reduced carbohydrate intake. Joanne EglashDiets ExaminerJoanne Eglash has more than 25 years of experience as a freelance journalist and author. Finding affordable jeans that are right for your body typeFinding affordable jeans that are right for your body type can be difficult, leaving some women unsure of what to choose. At home farming: To hatch or not to hatch your own chickensIn this world of 'hustle-bustles' the idea of raising your own chickens for sustenance can seem a little excessive and well, a bit unnecessary.
Enter the email associated with your account and we will send you an email with a link to reset it. Consuming a low carbohydrate-high protein diet may be associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease in women.Note that each two-point increase in the low carbohydrate-high protein score, equivalent to a 20-gram decrease in daily carb intake and 5-gram increase in daily protein intake, was associated with a relative 5% increase in cardiovascular events. Consuming a low carbohydrate-high protein diet -- like the Atkins diet -- may be associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease in women, researchers found. Decreases in carbohydrate intake and increases in protein intake, as well as in a score combining carbohydrate and protein intake, were all associated with significantly greater risks of incident cardiovascular disease events in young Swedish women, according to Pagona Lagiou, MD, PhD, of the University of Athens in Greece, and colleagues. The findings, which were reported online in BMJ, "do not answer questions concerning possible beneficial short-term effects of low carbohydrate or high protein diets in the control of body weight or insulin resistance," the authors wrote. Low carb-high protein diets have become popular because of the short-term effects on weight control, but concerns have been raised about the potential cardiovascular effects over the long term.
But three European studies showed a greater risk of cardiovascular mortality with such a diet. Lagiou and colleagues examined data from the Swedish Women's Lifestyle and Health Cohort, a prospective study conducted among women living in the healthcare region of Uppsala.

The researchers scored each participant according to their carbohydrate and protein consumption. During follow-up, there were 1,270 incident cardiovascular events, which included ischemic heart disease, ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and peripheral arterial disease.
After adjustment for energy intake, saturated and unsaturated fat intake, and numerous cardiovascular risk factors, each one-point decrease in carb intake was associated with a relative 4% increase in cardiovascular events (95% CI 0% to 8%). Each two-point increase in the low carbohydrate-high protein score -- equivalent to a 20-gram decrease in daily carb intake and 5-gram increase in daily protein intake -- was associated with a relative 5% increase in cardiovascular events (95% CI 2% to 8%). There was a suggestion that the associations were stronger for women whose protein came mostly from animal sources, but the test for interaction did not reach statistical significance for nearly all of the individual outcomes.
Lagiou and colleagues acknowledged that their study was limited by the possible misclassification of diet based on participant self-report only at the beginning of the study, the lack of information on cardiovascular medication use and blood cholesterol levels, and the possibility of residual confounding. The study was supported by grants from the Swedish Cancer Society and the Swedish Research Council.The study authors and the editorialists reported no conflicts of interest. MedPageToday is a trusted and reliable source for clinical and policy coverage that directly affects the lives and practices of health care professionals.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals may also receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education (CE) credits at no cost for participating in MedPage Today-hosted educational activities.
As part of an effort to reduce heart disease risk in the 1980s, more than 140,000 individuals were encouraged to decrease their fat intake. At the same time, women that consumed low-carb meals that contain more animal fats and protein did not receive any benefit. The threat does not come from an increased cholesterol but the impact that a wrong low-carb diet can have on your 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. 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.
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. YourHealth disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information. Instead, researchers at Ohio State University report that low-fat diets high in carbohydrates are the culprits, verifying previous studies indicating that high fat low carb diets are the most effective for weight loss and overall health.
He is the co-author of several books, including "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable" (click for details).
Participants who reduced their carbohydrates lost weight as well as reducing their risk of disease in his research project. Those results included participants who consumed significantly more saturated fat than before commencing the study. She's written articles, features, interviews, blogs, newsletters, and reviews for magazines such as Shape, Pregnancy and Success and for Web sites such as ediets and Yahoo. The current analysis included 43,396 women, ages 30 to 49 at baseline, who completed a comprehensive questionnaire on lifestyle and dietary factors, as well as medical history.
A one-point increase in protein intake also was associated with a relative 4% increase in events (95% CI 2% to 6%).
A high protein diet may indicate higher intake of red and processed meat and thus higher intake of iron, cholesterol, and saturated fat," they explained in an accompanying editorial.
Sigurdsson MD 80 Comments I find it extraordinary how carbohydrate restriction is repeatedly rejected by the medical community as an alternative approach for obesity, the metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in many countries around the world. The best suggestion is to make the decision to eat healthy, by including more healthy options in your daily meals.
Some carbs - like those in whole grains and fruits - are healthier than others - like those in white bread and other processed foods.Bazzano and her colleagues write in Annals of Internal Medicine that low-carb diets have become popular weight loss strategies in recent years. Diabetes and other obesity related disorders have become increasingly common.Public health organizations and medical societies usually advocate a low-fat, high-carbohydrate, energy-deficient diet to manage weight. However, in the early 2000s, the low-carbohydrate diet fad led many of these individuals to forgo healthful carbohydrates and eat fattier foods instead. Leather Alternatives This Little Dog Survived Domestic Violence Vegan Handbags for Mother’s Day Vegan Men Reveal How Plant-based Diet Helped Them Beef Up The Best Vegan Food in Las Vegas Should Vegan Women Supplement with DHA During Pregnancy? Studies on their effects on cardiovascular risk factors have produced mixed results, however.For the new study, she and her colleagues recruited 148 obese men and women between the ages of 22 and 75.

Because this type of fatty acid is associated with higher risks of diabetes and heart disease, Volek's team concluded that high fat low carb ketogenic diets are the best approach for overall health as well as weight loss.
A combined carbohydrate-protein score ranged from 2 (very high consumption of carbs and very low consumption of protein) to 20 (very low consumption of carbs and very high consumption of protein). The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider. Nonetheless, clinical experience and scientific studies indicate that other approaches may be more effective.The main argument against carbohydrate-restricted, high-fat diets are concerns regarding their long-term safety.
This allowed the doctor to examine the differences between a low-carb diet and a high carb diet. None of the participants had heart disease or diabetes.Half were randomly assigned to follow a low-carbohydrate diet for a year, and the other half were assigned to a low-fat diet for a year.
Most such diets encourage increased consumption of animal products and therefore they often contain high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.
They were told to not change their physical activity throughout the trial.All participants attended regular meetings where they learned about portion control, healthy eating and overall nutrition. It has been suggested that this may cause unfavorable changes in blood lipids and thereby increase the risk of heart disease. High intake of protein can result in large amounts of calcium in the urine, and loss of bone mass.
In fact, low carbohydrate diets have demonstrated their therapeutic value in numerous studies, and often outperform other diets when comparisons are made. Some diabetic associations have accepted moderate carbohydrate restriction as an alternative approach for weight loss in type 2 diabetes.Doctors, cardiologists included, commonly recommend low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets to patients with heart disease, as well as for cardiovascular prevention.
The low-fat, low saturated fat, low cholesterol, high-carbohydrate approach is recommended for all.
Extensive research indicates that this diet lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and is associated with lower risk of several diseases, including heart disease. Furthermore, it was recently suggested that the DASH diet may be used for weight loss as well. For years I have struggled with the low-fat, high-carbohydrate, energy-deficient dietary approach to manage these conditions. Often weight loss is limited and not sustained, and there are very limited improvements in metabolic function.
However, I might admit the lack of result is more often due to lack of compliance than something else. However, I will try to convince you that the available data does not support the conclusion that low-carbohydrate diets are less safe than other dietary approaches for people who are obese, overweight or suffer from the metabolic syndrome.The initial recommendations to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol were based on observations from epidemiological research. In fact, replacement of saturated fats with refined carbohydrate can worsen blood lipids when insulin resistance is present, by increasing triglycerides, the number of small LDL particles, and by decreasing HDL-cholesterol. In this large prospective observational study, no trend towards higher cardiovascular event risk for women or men with higher total or saturated fat intakes, was observed. Furthermore, negative effects on blood lipids with low-carbohydrate diets were not observed in these studies and markers of the metabolic syndrome were generally improved.Most of these randomized trials are short term studies.
However, they did not find an association between low-carb diets and the incidence of, and mortality from cardiovascular disease. The authors acknowledge that their analysis is based on limited observational studies, and that large-scale trials on the complex interactions between low-carbohydrate diets and long-term outcomes are needed. It is also necessary to point out that there was a substantial difference between studies, regarding both study design and definitions. Such heterogeneity may make meta-analysis problematic.A Few Final WordsThere are many different versions of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets. For a patient with heart disease or someone with elevated cholesterol, I usually recommend monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fats rich in omega-3. The medical community, which I am a part of, accepts that drugs that lower cholesterol, and slightly reduce the risk of heart disease (although having considerable side effects, among them increased risk of diabetes) are given to 25 percent of adults in many countries around the world.

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