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Low Carb Diet Risks

A couple of people recently asked me about low-carb diets. I shared that studies have shown this is not a healthful option for weight loss.  There can be low carb diet risks.

Is the Low Carb Diet Healthy?
What the research says

Research on low-carbohydrate diets released by the Journal of the American Heart Association.

People who consume more whole grains live longer, according to a new study from Harvard.

Researchers analyzed the diets and mortality of more than 118,000 men and women from both the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and found that, after an average of 25 years follow-up, more whole-grain intake was associated with lower death rates and that every whole-grain serving was associated with a 5 percent lower risk for death in general and a 9 percent lower risk for death from heart disease.

Whole grains, for this study, were defined as the whole grain (whole wheat, oats, brown rice, etc.) as well as its pulverized flour form (whole-wheat flour, oat flour, brown rice flour, etc.), which may be found in products such as breads and cereals.

The benefits were independent of other lifestyle factors, including exercise and other dietary choices.
 
These findings support other studies that show avoiding healthful carbs and consuming more animal products increases the risk for dying.Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Why low carb diets ultimately fail

In this 8-minute clip is Dr. Michael Greger founder of NutritionFacts.org explaining Why Low Carb Diets Ultimately Fail’

A great article by Dr. John McDougall is The Smoke and Mirrors Behind Wheat Belly and Grain Brain

Carbohydrates do not cause diabetes

In addition, for those with diabetes. On average, the American Diabetes Association low-carb diet drops A1c by about .5% (1/2 of a percent). Plant-based diets average a 1.2% drop in A1c levels.

“Carbohydrates do not cause diabetes. A diet that focuses on keeping carbs out of the diet is not a powerful way to manage–let alone reverse–the disease. If anything, complex carbs help prevent and reverse it.”–Dr. Neal Barnard

Support of plant-based diet

On January 17, 2017, the American Diabetes Association said that a plant-based eating pattern is an effective option for type 2 diabetes management and encourages clinicians to always include education on lifestyle management.

The Journal of Geriatric Cardiology published  A plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes in May 2017.

There is a general consensus that the elements of a whole-foods plant-based diet—legumes, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, with limited or no intake of refined foods and animal products—are highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes.

Equally important, plant-based diets address the bigger picture for patients with diabetes by simultaneously treating cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, and its risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia, and inflammation.

The advantages of a plant-based diet also extend to reduction in risk of cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States; the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommend eating mostly foods of plant origin, avoiding all processed meats and sugary drinks, and limiting intake of red meats, energy dense foods, salt, and alcohol for cancer prevention. 

Large healthcare organizations such as Kaiser Permanente are promoting plant-based diets for all of their patients because it is a cost effective, low-risk intervention that treats numerous chronic illnesses simultaneously and is seen as an important tool to address the rising cost of health care.”

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