High Protein Low Carb Diet May Up Heart Risks

If you’re wondering whether a high protein low carb diet plan is good for you, new research offers an answer. In fact it’s a low carb eating plan that gets fats and proteins from vegetables instead of meats is better for you.

Researchers compared the two types of diets over 20 years and found that the low carb, veggie based plan brought reduced rates of death from heart disease and cancer, plus a lower rate of all-cause death overall.

The impact of the two different low carb diet approaches is drastically different according to Dr. Frank. B Hu, senior author of the study that appears in the September 7, 2010 issue of the Annuals of Internal Medicine.

Earlier work on the low carb diet front includes a few smaller, short-term studies and has shown that the Atkins-type low carb-eating plan does result in weight loss. The trouble is that there’s still a good deal of concern among experts around animal fat and protein increasing the risk of life altering chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

In fact, researchers at St, Michael’s Hospital in Canada devised the vegetarian version of Atkins, called the Eco-Atkins Diet, in hopes of developing an eating plan that could help you lose weight and bring down bad cholesterol in the bargain. This plan keeps the same ratio of protein and carbs as the original Atkins, but replaces the high fat animal protein with vegetable protein, mostly from soy and gluten.

For this latest research into low carb eating, a pair of studies were used – one that followed 85,168 women from 1980 through 2006, and another that included 44,548 male subjects and ran from 1986 to 2006.

The team found that both men and women on the animal based low carb plans had a 23% increased risk of death, a 14% increased risk of dying from heart disease, and a 28% greater risk of death as the result of cancer. Those on the “Eco-Atkins” plan had a 20% lower death rate and a 23% lower rate of death because of cardiovascular disease.

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Low Carb Diets Raise Heath Risks..? Continued…

Interesting that the low carb diets these subjects followed had a far lower level of carb intake per day than most of the carb-loving U.S. population could manage. Our portions of carbs are outrageously large. We eat granola bars or other snacks all day, taking in carbs without even realizing how much we are actually eating.

An editorial that accompanied the research pointed out some weaknesses in the study itself. The work didn’t account for other variables like smoking status and level of education, and points out the need for a large-scale clinical trial to compare the two low carb eating plans. Other issues with the research include that’s these were observational (can’t prove cause and effect) studies that used self-reported data. The subjects periodically filled out questionnaires on what they ate… challenging to remember to be sure.

Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. has issued a blistering statement following the release of this latest high proteinlow carb diet research, claiming the plan identified as low carb isn’t representative of the Atkins plan. Whether the findings hold up or not, eating low carb does have benefits, so long as you do it over the long haul.