One of the most popular diets involves cutting down on your carbs – but can a low-carb diet help your heart? Read below to find out the answer.
While low-carb diets are a popular weight-loss strategy, some experts recommend against it. The reason? These diets typically increase your saturated fat intake, which can increase your risk of heart disease. However, a new study suggests that eating a low-carb diet may actually benefit your cardiovascular health – if you’re overweight.
New Study Findings
The new study, available in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that overweight and obese individuals can experience benefits. According to the study, those who increased their fat intake and lowered their refined carbohydrates intake reduced their risk factors.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian says that the study shows the benefits of eating fewer processed carbs while eating more fat. “I think this is an important study,” says Mozaffarian. “Most Americans still believe that low-fat foods are healthier for them, and this trial shows that at least for these outcomes, the high-fat, low-carb group did better.”
He adds that “it’s a well-controlled trial that shows that eating lower carb and more saturated fat is actually good for you, as long as you have plenty of unsaturated fats and you’re mostly eating a Mediterranean-type diet.” Mozaffarian is a cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. He was not part of the research.
One of the most recommended eating plans for improving heart health is the Mediterranean diet. It is rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, and heart-healthy fats like olive oil and nuts. Moreover, various rigorous studies show that following a Mediterranean diet can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
How Low is Too Low?
“[The study is] mainly focused on eliminating the processed carbs, which many people are now recognizing are among the least healthful aspects of our food supply,” says study author David Ludwig. He stresses that these findings don’t apply to very low carb levels like those typically found in ketogenic diets. In fact, these diet types have been shown to sharply elevate LDL cholesterol levels in some individuals.
Ludwig is an endocrinologist at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital.
Based on the findings, Mozaffarian recommends that people adopt a Mediterranean-style diet. “That’s the diet that America should be focusing on,” he says. “It’s where all the science is converging.”
In addition to eating healthier, you can give your heart health an extra boost by taking L-arginine Plus. As a daily heart supplement, it can effectively promote your circulation, blood pressure health, and more. Try L-arginine Plus along with a Mediterranean diet if you want to give your heart health the support it deserves.