High Protein Diets

Heart disease linked to low carb diets

Dieters who regularly eat a low carbohydrate, high protein diet are at greater risk of cardiovascular disease than those who do not participate in such diets.Heart disease linked to low carb dietsMore than 43,000 Swedish women were assessed over 15 years. Of those, 1,270 had suffered a “cardiovascular event”.

From a dietary survey published by the BMJ- Low carbohydrate high protein diet and incidence of cardiovascular diseases in Swedish women: prospective cohort study the researchers found that if women decreased their carb intake by 20g a day and increased their protein intake by 5g, they had a 5% increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The amounts are relatively small – 20g of carbohydrates is the equivalent of a small bread roll and 5g of protein is the equivalent to one boiled egg.

The figures represent an additional four to five cases of cardiovascular disease per 10,000 women per year compared with those who did not regularly eat a low carbohydrate, high-protein diet.

The authors said that increasing the level of physical activity reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease, while increasing levels of smoking increased the risk.

“Low carbohydrate, high-protein diets, used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins, are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” the authors conclude.

Such diets are frequently used to lose weight. They are favoured among many celebrities as a method to keep trim.

Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins Nutritionals, said that the study was “misleading”.

She said that long term adherence to low carbohydrate diets requires carefully considered food choices, which the Atkins diet teaches in all educational materials, published books and communications.

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