High fat low carbohydrate diet raises heart disease risk
Findings from the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast show that consuming a high fat low carbohydrate diet, like the Atkins diet, can significantly boost heart disease risk. The research suggests that a low carbohydrate high fat diet carries risks that far outweigh weight loss benefits.
Dr Steven Hunter from the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast who led the study said, “High-fat diets have become popular because they seemingly promote more rapid weight loss and because of their palatability. However, we now have proof that they do not help people lose weight any faster than more conventional diets, and the potential negatives of increased cardiovascular risks far outweigh the potential positives of more easily sustained dieting/weight loss, especially when there is a proven and safe alternative in low-fat high-carbohydrate weight loss diets.”
According to background information from the study, obesity and diabetes is seen together eighty percent of the time. In the UK 16% of children, and twenty four percent of adults are now classified as obese and at risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes has become a global epidemic, and is expected to triple health care spending over the next two decades, making the findings that a high fat low carbohydrate diet increases risk of heart disease especially notable.
The current study was conducted on obese, pre diabetic individuals. Researchers compared the two diets, (20% fat, 60% carbohydrate and 60% fat, 20% carbohydrate), finding that both facilitated weight loss. However, a high fat low carbohydrate diet differed because it can increase heart disease risk.
The high fat low carbohydrate diet produced arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart disease. The authors say the changes in artery health were significant among study participants eating high fats and low carbs.
The findings show that eating a high fat low carbohydrate can be dangerous. A high fat diet increases arterial stiffness – recently found to be an easy way to predict and individual’s chances of developing heart disease. Compared to a low fat, high carbohydrate diet, weight loss results are similar between the two diets. The benefits of weight loss are undermined for individuals who lose weight by consuming a high fat ,low carbohydrate diet - now shown to increase the risk of heart disease significantly.