Low-Fat Diets Better for Heart than Low-Carb

March 04, 2008 09:35 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A study showing the disadvantages of low-carb diets with regard to cardiovascular health provides a reason to be wary of Atkins-style diets.

30-Second Summary

During a six-week study, researchers found “reduced flow-mediated dilation” in the arm artery of participants on a low-carb diet. The condition is an early indicator of cardiovascular disease.

"Low-carbohydrate diets are significantly higher in total grams of fat, protein, dietary cholesterol and saturated fats than are low-fat diets,” said Dr. Shane Phillips, one of the facilitators of the study.

The study suggests that while low-carb diets may help people lose weight and maintain a low blood pressure, the higher fat content is detrimental to heart health.

However, conflicting studies may mean the low-carb/low-fat debate continues for some time.

Another study released in February showed that, although doctors generally recommend low-fat diets to prevent type 2 diabetes, low-carb diets might be just as good or better at preventing the disease.

It could be some time before medical experts determine the very best diet overall.

The continued popularity of the low-carb Atkins diet is not mystery, argues William Saletan in Slate. There aren’t many dietary regimens that allow people to eat sausage and cream cheese.

Headline Links: Low-carb vs. low-fat

Background: Low-carb and type 2 diabetes

Opinion: 'A Groundless Beef with the Atkins Diet'

Related Links: Dr. Atkins’ death, high-carbs and esophageal cancer, and heart disease in Britain

Dr. Atkins’ controversial death
High-carbohydrate intake linked to esophageal cancer
Obesity and heart disease in England

Reference: Heart disease and healthy diets


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines