Nutrition: No higher heart attack risk with "Atkins"

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Nutrition: No higher heart attack risk with "Atkins"
Nutrition: No higher heart attack risk with "Atkins"

No higher heart attack risk with "Atkins" diets

The risk of developing coronary artery disease on low-carbohydrate diets like the Atkins diet is no greater than on traditional high-carbohydrate diets. This fear arose because giving up carbohydrates would result in an increased consumption of fats and proteins.

A 20-year long-term study by Frank Hu and colleagues from the Harvard School of Public He alth, which focused on the eating behavior of 82,802 women, now disproved this assumption. Fats are considered a major contributor to coronary artery disease and heart attack.

The researchers found that those who covered their additional energy requirements primarily with plant-based products were able to reduce their risk of illness by around 30 percent despite a "low-carb diet".

Low-carb diets, which mostly go back to Robert Atkins and his advisors in the 1970s, are supposed to get the metabolism to use your own fat reserves as energy suppliers instead of easily digestible carbohydrates. If you avoid products containing sugar and starch, the blood sugar level rises less after the meal. The body is then more likely to tap into the energy stored in fat tissue and also releases less insulin, which forms body fat when it lowers blood sugar levels that are induced by sugar or starch.

However, critics continue to warn against too high a proportion of fats and proteins in food: High-protein food can lead to kidney damage, and animal fats in particular are not only known to make you fat, but also increase cholesterol levels.

Even an excessively high-carbohydrate diet is not without risk: It can also lead to heart problems via high blood sugar levels. The researchers therefore recommend a diet low in carbohydrates and high in vegetable fats and protein.

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