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How will cutting out carbs affect your heart health?

“I decided to give up carbohydrates.” You may hear this phrase from people following high-protein diets such as the Atkin diet or Paleo, as well as from those following a high-fat, low-carb diet such as keto.

< /i>ContentWhy did giving up carbohydrates become fashionable? Not all carbohydrates should be afraid of How giving up carbohydrates will reduce risk of heart problems How to eat for heart health?

If you're concerned about what will happen to your risk of heart disease once you reach a certain age, it makes sense to cut back on your carb intake, right? Yes and no, according to scientific evidence. WomanEL will share the latest findings of scientists.

Why has cutting out carbohydrates become fashionable?

There are several reasons why people choose low-carb diets, the most common being weight loss. Although carbohydrates are the main macronutrient used by the body for energy, consuming them in excess can lead to weight gain, obesity, increased blood triglyceride levels, decreased good cholesterol and even metabolic syndrome.

Not all carbohydrates are worth fearing

Carbohydrates are divided into refined or unhealthy carbohydrates such as processed foods, sugary treats and simple carbohydrates, which cause a rapid spike in blood sugar when consumed. But there are also healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

How cutting out carbs will reduce your risk of heart problems

The low-carb, high-fat keto diet has been linked to higher levels of bad cholesterol and an increased risk of clogged arteries, heart attacks and strokes. This is stated in a 2023 study conducted by scientists from the University of British Columbia. 

A study has found that regularly eating a low-carb, high-fat diet is associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, and an increased risk of heart disease. However, the researchers also found that keto dieters consumed higher amounts of saturated fat, which is associated with the risk of heart disease and stroke.

According to Dr. Neil Chokshi, unhealthy fat intake can occur on low-carb diets such as the keto diet. The keto diet suggests that up to 90% of daily calories should come from fat. A sudden increase in body fat can lead to increased levels of bad cholesterol and triglycerides (at least in the short term), as well as ketosis. Ketosis is a state in which the body breaks down fat in the absence of sufficient carbohydrates, turning it into ketones for energy. An increased heart rate is another side effect of ketosis. Science has yet to fully understand the long-term effects of ketosis.

How to eat for a healthy heart?

< img src="/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/c0966e10afc524fb116e2cd71841e748.jpg" />How to improve heart health through nutrition, Source:

The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized by health experts as the best diet for reducing the risk of heart disease. This is a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and seafood, healthy fats, and low in dairy, meat, and saturated fat. It is also recommended to diversify your protein sources by not relying solely on animal sources by adding legumes, lentils, etc. It is also recommended to avoid added sugars, refined carbohydrates, ultra-processed foods and limit alcohol consumption.

What's more, in a 2022 study, participants on a low-carb diet with a lower risk of heart disease also ate fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, and lentils.

Other diets that are at the top of the “heart-friendly” list include: , – the DASH diet (a balanced diet that encourages eating heart-healthy foods) and the pescatarian diet (a diet based on fish, seafood and plants).

Low-carb/ketogenic diets rank at the bottom, mainly because they do not limit saturated fat. Perhaps the goal is not to go to any extremes.

Look for sustainable diets with a good mix of healthy carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly . Also, watch for warning signs of heart disease that you shouldn't ignore: chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue and dizziness.

If you decide to give up carbohydrates, be careful. Here are the side effects that are observed.

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