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Low-carb diets may be better than low-fat diets for protecting against heart disease.

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014


On the front of its Science Times section, the New York Times (9/2, D1, O’Connor, Subscription Publication) reports that individuals “who avoid carbohydrates and eat more fat, even saturated fat, lose more body fat and have fewer cardiovascular risks than people who follow the low-fat diet that health authorities have favored for decades,” according to a National Institutes of Health-financed study published Sept. 2 in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study “included a racially diverse group of 150 men and women…who were assigned to follow diets for one year that limited either the amount of carbs or fat that they could eat, but not overall calories.” By the time the study ended, “people in the low-carbohydrate group saw markers of inflammation and triglycerides…plunge,” while HDL increased.
The Washington Post (8/29, Searing) “Health & Science” blog points out caveats to the study, including the fact that “the study measured risk factors for cardiovascular disease but did not last long enough to measure actual development of the disease.” In addition, “dietary data came from the participants’ responses on questionnaires.”
As part of our lifestyle enhancement efforts, we, at the Center for Plastic Surgery, have been teaching that it is the carbohydrates and sugar that are causing a great deal of health problems including heart problems. We have also taught that the key to weight loss and proper health is balancing carbohydrates, protein and fat at about 33% each for all meals (most people’s diets have been 70-80% carbohydrate)  and that the carbohydrates should be low glycemic and minimally cooked or processed. This type of diet actually lowers cholesterol and other heart risk factors.