Cautionary Note on Low-Carb Diets

Be Careful When Cutting Down

Some people swear by a low-carbohydrate diet, but what about the long-term effects? A first-time study by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has now revealed that following a low-carb diet for three months or more may increase atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Mice placed on a 12-week, low-carbohydrate/high-protein diet showed a significant increase (15.3 percent) in plaque in their hearts’ arteries and a decreased ability to form new blood vessels in tissue deprived of blood flow, as might occur during a heart attack. Interestingly, the study also found that standard markers of cardiovascular risk, such as cholesterol levels, were unchanged in the animals fed the low-carb diet.

The researchers suggest that even if low-carb/high protein diets have proven successful in helping individuals rapidly lose weight, a more balanced approach to weight management, such as moderate, balanced food intake, coupled with exercise, is probably best for our heart and overall health.


Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Ayurvedic Program Improves Blood Chemistry

Men and women that underwent a six-day ayurvedic detox and rejuvenation protocol showed measurable decreases in blood test markers for inflammation and cardiovascular disease.

More Sleep Helps Shed Pounds

Can increasing our zzz’s lead to better numbers on the bathroom scale? A growing number of scientific studies say yes.

Battle of the Bulge

About one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese today, nearly triple the rate in 1963. Learn why and how to combat this alarming trend.

The Write Way to Lose Weight

A new study suggests that the right kind of writing may facilitate shedding pounds.

Tap Away Food Cravings

A simple technique may help curb the desire for sweet and salty snacks.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags