The best diet for heart health is which one?
It seems like the debate is still going on. A low-carb, high-fat diet is harmful to our hearts, according to those who promote low-fat diets. It would seem logical that this would be the case at first. But is it?
A doctor and researcher with extensive knowledge of heart and metabolic health recently published the results of a clinical trial that produced some incredibly intriguing and unexpected results. The participants in this trial were divided into one of three groups as part of the methodology. They adhered to the prescribed diets for the prescribed 20 weeks. 20% of the protein in each of the three diets was present, but the carbohydrate and fat content varied.
Participants in the study received completely prepared, individually designed meals that they could either eat in the cafeteria or take to go. So there was no room for speculation regarding whether they actually ate the recommended macronutrient amounts.
Here is how the diets broke down:
Low-carb: 20% carbohydrate, 21% fat
Moderate-carb: 40% carbohydrate, 14% fat
High-carb: 60% carbohydrate, 7% fat
At the end of the 20 weeks, the stunning results revealed:
“An excessively low-carb diet improved insulin-resistant dyslipoproteinemia and lipoprotein(a) without having a negative impact on LDL cholesterol. A major multi-centered trial powered on hard outcomes is needed to examine the possibility that carbohydrate restriction may reduce CVD (cardiovascular disease) risk independently of body weight.”
In other words, the low-carb, high-fat diet group showed greater improvements than the moderate or high-carb groups in terms of triglycerides, blood pressure, lipoprotein(a), and adiponectin (a hormone derived from fat that appears to play a crucial role in preventing insulin resistance/diabetes and atherosclerosis). Lipoprotein(a) is a class of protein that transports cholesterol in the blood and can cause LDL cholesterol to form plaques on blood vessel walls, resulting in blood vessel narrowing or blockage and artery hardening. High saturated fat intake had no detrimental effects on cholesterol or cardiovascular risk factors.
That goes against everything we have been told for a long time. The quality of the food and the origin of the fat, in my opinion, are the deciding factors in everything. We have been told for a long time that saturated fat is a dangerous substance, but this is not true. My personal opinion is that it depends on the source of the fat and how your particular metabolic profile reacts to saturated fat.
How do you feel about experimenting with a high-saturated-fat, low-carb diet?