Kiss carbs goodbye?



Think eating a low-fat diet will help decrease your chance of heart disease, stroke and diabetes? Think again. Rather than pointing the finger at fat, a recent study suggests that carbohydrates might be the reason for American’s expanding waistlines.

The 2008 study was comprised of forty overweight or obese men and women with metabolic syndrome (a condition that is characterized by at least three of the following symptoms: high triglycerides, high blood pressure, central obesity (measured by waist circumference), low HDL cholesterol or elevated fasting glucose). The subjects were put on a 1,500-calorie a day diet. Fifty percent of them were placed on a high-fat, low-carb diet and the other half followed a high-carb, low-fat diet.

Even though the high-fat group consumed three times more saturated fat a day than the low-fat group, by the end of the study, their triglycerides levels dropped by 50% and their HDL (good) cholesterol increased by 15%.

The low-fat group, however, only had a 20% reduction in triglycerides and no change in HDL cholesterol.

This suggests that carbohydrate intake – particularly simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta and white rice – can contribute to the overall fat content in blood.

So the next time you’re thinking about having a slice a cake or a dinner roll, perhaps opt for a piece of bacon instead.

I'm not sure I'm ready to give up carbs completely. But what this study further reinforces is that a healthy diet just isn't healthy when it includes refined carbs.

I guess my love affair with chips and pasta is over...

What is your take on carbs? Leave 'em or eat 'em?


Article first published as Carbs Nay, Fat Yay? on Technorati.

Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk.

8 comments:

  1. Triglyceride levels also has other contributing factors such as genes and overall lifestyle.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have had a love-hate relationship with carbs since university. I suggest choosing carbohydrates with a low GI www.glycemicindex.com. That way you can have your cake and eat it too (kinda)!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. @lorna vanderhaeghe
    Good point! Nothing should be looked at in isolation.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Zoey
    Great tip. I can't live without carbs but I try to choose whole grain ones more often than not.

    ReplyDelete
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