Low carb diets not linked to risks of atherosclerosis, US study reports

Low carb diets not linked to risks of atherosclerosis US study reveals

Low carb diets are not linked to risks of developing atherosclerosis; new studies have found out. Atherosclerosis is a result of coronary artery calcification (CAC) which happens when calcium builds up in the heart’s arteries. This complication can further lead to heart attacks.

The treatment and management of obesity and the accompanying cardiovascular diseases is an important challenge that many patients and professional healthcare officers face today, and one form of therapy that is always offered is weight management. This is subsequently promoted through exercise and dietary adjustments which help the individual to keep weight gain within specific thresholds and possibly lose some weight if need be.

Some people prefer going on a ketogenic diet that is low in carbohydrate, and high in proteins and fats in a bid to burn more fat and keep weight within a reasonable range. This, while becoming increasingly popular, has raised questions as to the impact of such diets and certain risk factors concerning heart diseases.

While some think they eventually promote heart health, some others are of a contrary opinion as they think a high-fat diet promotes heart diseases –a statement we have heard over and over. Even professional healthcare givers are sometimes divided over this view.

 The Study

This prompted a study in the US and this study profiled participants risk score for CAC; participants were from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. There was a total number of 5,614 men and women who were previously not suffering from any cardiovascular disease and their food profiles were taken to verify their diets over a period of time. The study began in 2000, and all participants had no history of heart issues.

Data was adjusted to allow for age, sex, race, diabetes status, blood pressure, cholesterol, and other health markers. Low carb diet scores were calculated on the basis of overall macronutrient ingested, and then the relationship between low carb diets and cardiovascular risk factors was determined. Those who followed a low carb diet consistently for a period of time and those who did not were assessed and results drawn.

Other positives with regards low carb diets

The results were quite revealing. Simply put, low carb diets, irrespective of their sources (plant or animal based) were not involved in the development of atherosclerosis, or its increase.  This points to an evidence of a long-term safety of diets low in carbohydrate for heart health. Another advantage of low carb diet is their ability to lower LDL.

This news is good for those who intend going on a keto diet, as the fear of developing atherosclerosis is erased and they can proceed with it.

Dr David Unwin, an avid researcher on diabetic diet, has been able show how low carb, full fat diets improve the glycemic index and promotes heart health for people managing diabetes. In a talk delivered at a conference last year, he spoke on the benefits of this diet and how it benefits the heart.

The details of the study have been published in The British Journal of Nutrition.