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Eat To Grow: Carb Snacks and Cardiac Attacks

Do low-carb diets cause bad cardiovascular effects?

Low-carb diets often feature a higher fat intake than usual, a frequent target for critics of low-carb dieting, since saturated fat intake is linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases. Proponents of low-carb diets, such as Robert Atkins, M.D., a cardiologist, maintain that, if anything, proper low-carb dieting leads to an improved cardiovascular risk profile due to increased insulin control.

Researchers at Ball State University in Indiana tested the effects of low-carb dieting on various blood fats. They had 10 healthy men eat a low-carb diet for six weeks and measured blood lipid (fat) levels twice weekly during the diet. They also measured the effect of eating a fat-rich meal before and after the period of low-carb dieting.

The results showed favorable changes in measures of blood lipids with the low-carb diet, which led to a significant 34.6 percent drop in fasting blood triglyceride (fat) levels. The conclusion was that low-carb diets have a favorable effect on lipoprotein cardiac risk factors. On the other hand, high-carb diets are known to rapidly increase blood triglyceride levels. IM

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