A study presented at the ESC Congress, along with many others that focused on heart health, shows that low carb diets are not healthy. Not only moderate consumption of chocolate is beneficial, but now we can eat some more carbs?
Professor Maciej Banach, of the Medical University of Lodz, Poland is the author of the study, and suggests that a low carb diet is linked to premature death:
“We found that people who consumed a low carbohydrate diet were at greater risk of premature death. Risks were also increased for individual causes of death including coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer. These diets should be avoided.”
Usually, people that are overweight or obese start diets for weight loss, and the latest trend is the keto diet, which is low in carbs and high in fat and proteins. But the safety of these diets is still debated, many studies having conflicting results.
Banach’s study focused on the link between low carb diets, all-cause deaths and deaths from cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, and cancer. The study had data from 24,825 individuals of the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) over a period of almost ten years (1999-2010).
Comparing the intake of carbohydrate, the group with a very low intake had a 32% increased risk of all-cause death after a 6.4year follow up. The risk of death from coronary heart disease was increased by 51%, cerebrovascular disease 50% and cancer 35%.
The team compared the results of this study with a meta-analysis of seven prospective cohort studies that involved other 447,506 individuals followed over a period of 15.6 years. In the meta-analysis, there were 15%, 13% and 8% increased risks of death from each type of disease – in people with low carb intake compared to the group with high intake of carbohydrates.
Low Carb Diets Not Recommended
Banach concludes that the low carb diet can be useful in lowering blood pressure, improving blood glucose control and lose weight, but their study shows that “in the long-term they are linked with an increased risk of death from any cause, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, and cancer.”
He also noted that animal protein, especially red and processed meat increases the risk of cancer:
“The reduced intake of fibre and fruits and increased intake of animal protein, cholesterol, and saturated fat with these diets may play a role. Differences in minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals might also be involved.”
He concludes that low carb diets are not favorable in long-term health and should not be recommended.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.