For Heart Health Low-Fat Better Than Low-Carb Diets

In America, it is estimated that 45 percent of women and 30 percent of men diet to lose weight. A recent study, published in the scientific journal Hypertension and led by David Gutterman has found low-carbohydrate diets to be significantly higher in total grams of fat, protein, dietary cholesterol and saturated fats than low-fat diets. Dr. Gutterman states, "While a low-carb diet may result in weight loss and an improvement in blood pressure, the higher fat content is ultimately more detrimental to heart health than the low-fat diet suggested by the American Heart Association."

The study included twenty participants ages 18 to 50 with a body mass index ranging from 29 to 39. Each individual was monitored for the study, and the type of diet was randomly assigned to participants. Weight loss, flow-mediated dilation, blood pressure, and insulin and glucose levels in participants were measured every two weeks for the six week study.

Dr. Gutterman goes on to add that the higher content fat of a low-carb diet may put dieters at an increased risk of atherosclerosis, the hardening of arteries, because these diets often reduce protection of the endothelium layer that line the blood vessels of the circulatory system. Researchers found reduced flow-mediated dilation in the arm artery, an early known indicator of cardiovascular disease, in participants who were on the low-carb diet.

 However, the flow-mediated dilation improved in participants on the low-fat diet suggesting a healthier artery less prone to developing atherosclerosis. Dr. Guttermen concludes, "The composition of diet may be as important as the degree of weight loss in determining the effect of dietary interventions on vascular health."


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