Low-Carb Diet Bad for the Heart?

Low-carb diets could be bad for the heart and are no more effective in weight loss than a diet that is high in carbs and low in fat, according to recent research.

Some obese people may be considering taking on a low-carb lifestyle for the New Year, such as the popular Atkins diet. But recent research shows that a high-fat, low-carb way of eating could be bad for the heart – and, it is no more effective for losing weight than a diet low in fat and high in carbs.

A research team led by Dr. Steven Hunter of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Ireland examined a group of obese adults. Some of them were on a low-carb, high-fat diet and the others were eating a diet that was low in fat.

The average weight loss was the same for both groups, but over time, the people who ate a high-fat diet showed a clear increase in cardiovascular risk factors.

The Atkins diet allows high-fat meats, including bacon – and many people who try this diet will indulge in them. But Dr. Hunter explained that the risks outweigh the benefits. Patients don’t lose weight much faster than with other diets, and the high saturated fat content can put a toll on the heart. A better bet for the new year, says Dr. Hunter, is a diet low in fat, coupled with exercise.

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