Eat Less Carbs – for Healthy Heart

Low-carb diets have been popular for years as a way to lose weight quickly. Aside from quick weight loss, the benefits of a low-carb diet include: increased energy, reduced sweet cravings, reduced mood swings and studies are showing a reduction on cholesterol, triglycerides level in the blood. Basically meaning a healthier heart! Read more about the study below.

Read below why Indians (and South Asians) specifically, should take more care of their heart health. And that the key, is keeping it low carb, not no carb! …

Indians high at risk for blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease

Watch your blood pressure and sugar (stephanobenito@flickr)

Indians should pay heed, as Indians are 3 times more prone to heart diseases as Europeans and Americans. We previously partnered with the Go Red Sari campaign to promote for heart health among women of Indian origin.

So, how low your carbohydrate intake should be is crucial-  One of the side effects of extremely low carbohydrate intake (lower than 100 g per day) is Ketosis (as seen in Ketogenic diets). Where your body will burn fat incompletely to produce a substance called ketone, which is a substitute brain fuel. This may cause light-headedness, nausea and bad breath.

A good low carb diet to avoid these complications is the Glycemic Index Diet and South Beach Diet where the focus is on changing eating habits so that the majority of the foods consumed are from the low GI food group. These foods take longer to break down into glucose in the body. This does two basic things: produces a more even level of glucose throughout the day and stops cravings and hunger from occurring as much.

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Or The Zone Diet, which is based on nutrient ratio where carbohydrate is 40% which is lower than the usual 55-60% of total calories but not low enough to induce ketosis.

More about the study
Study by Krauss, Ronald, et al.  published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported the following benefits of going low-carb besides weight loss:-

- Low-carb diets are helpful, even without weight loss. This is important for people who aren’t overweight, but respond to low-carb diets for health problems such as high blood pressure, glucose tolerance problems such as reactive hypoglycemia, or other risk factors for heart disease or diabetes.

- Further confirmed that simply reducing carbohydrate tends to reduce weight, without any other intervention also.

- Showed LDL particle size rises with low-carb diets alone. So making it more heart-friendly.

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