Low-carb eating plans like the Atkins diet were once so popular that they graced the covers of Newsweek and other magazines. Some experts championed these diets as the best way to lose weight. Others scorned them as the heart-clogging way that might help you shed pounds but put your health at risk. Now several large randomized controlled trials - the gold standard of medical research - have shown that low-carb diets are as good as low-fat diets for losing weight, and may even be better. But how do they fare for long-term health?
Most low-carb diets deliver more protein and fat than "regular" or low-fat diets. We know there are good and not-so-good fats and carbohydrates. Could the same hold true for protein sources? If so, then the type of protein that dominates a diet can influence health as much as the kinds and amounts of carbohydrates or fats.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have been following 85,000 female nurses and 45,000 male health professionals since the mid-1980s. Every few years, the participants fill out questionnaires detailing what they eat and provide other information on their health. This wealth of data is offering some insight into the long-term effects of different low-carb diets.
In one study, the researchers created scores for each nurse's intake of protein from red meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, and beans. The findings:
The more protein from red meat, the higher the chances of developing heart disease.
Women who averaged two or more servings of red meat a day had a 30% higher risk of developing heart disease than those who had one or fewer servings a day.
Replacing one serving of meat with one of nuts reduced the risk by 30%.
In a separate study, the researchers created scores that reflected both the amount of carbohydrate in the diet and the main sources of protein. Among the nurses and male health professionals, those with a low-carb diet heavy in animal protein were 23% more likely to have died over 20-plus years of follow-up than those with "regular" diets, while those following a low-carb diet rich in plant protein were 20% less likely to have died.
On Feb 29, 1:06 am, "Ellen K." <firstinitiallastn...@dslextreme.com>
> The part I found interesting was that the folks on the low-carb diet with
> vegetable proteins did better than the people on the "regular" (i.e.
> non-low-carb) diet.
I agree, you point is very note worth.
But were the carbs on the low carb diet higher quality than the carbs
on the higher carb diet.
What I would also like to know is how the authors defined "low carb".
Most published studies consider low carb to be as high as 45%.
Its' probably difficult to construct a much lower carb diet based on
vegetable proteins. Carbs come along for the ride with vegetable
> I missed out on what the good carbs are. Could you elaborate?
The best carbs might be those that increase butyrate production in the
colon. Improved glycemic response can result in hours.
Also a certain amount of carbs are needed to increase insulin
sensitivity even in diabetics. Very low carb diets result in decreased
insulin sensitivity. If your eating very low carb that might be OK,
the problems is that the liver still produces insulin and if you
insulin resistance higher fasting bg levels might result.
Peppermint Patootie <peppermint_patoo...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> In article <M1a3r.16912$kq7.16...@newsfe10.iad>,
> "Ellen K." <firstinitiallastn...@dslextreme.com> wrote:
>> The more protein from red meat, the higher the chances of developing heart >> disease.
>> Women who averaged two or more servings of red meat a day had a 30% higher >> risk of developing heart disease than those who had one or fewer servings a >> day.
> I'll betcha they didn't differentiate between grain fed and grass fed.
Nor did they differentiate between processed red meat and raw red meat.