Carb Dieting May Have Serious Consequences

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CLEVELAND — New mother Tisha Hickerson, of Cleveland, is watching her carbs.

“I recently had a baby. So, I am watching my carbs so I actually look good in a bathing suit for once after a year and a half!” laughs Hickerson.

But according to recent research in the British Medical Journal, a low-carb, high-protein diet may be bad for the heart.

“Researchers looked at a group of over 43,000 Swedish women, which is a pretty large group, and they followed them over 15 years,” explained UH clinical dietician Lisa Cimperman.

Of the women studied, 1,270 suffered heart attacks or strokes.

“With a high protein diet, we see increases of CRP. CRP is an indicator of inflammation.  So, one of the things I wonder about is this type of diet, high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate, cause changes in our metabolism that promote an inflammatory effect?” added Cimperman.

Cardiovascular disease, like heart attack or stroke, begins with inflammation.

“The high protein and high fat of some of these diets, like Atkins, is not beneficial long term,” added Cimperman.

Cimperman adds that the report reinforces the need for balance in a woman’s diet and that carbohydrates really aren’t that bad.

“It’s that we are making poor choices when it comes to carbohydrates. We need to be looking for high fiber carbohydrates, like whole wheat bread and fruit for example,” said Cimperman.

A diet plan, any woman can stick with.

“Really, it’s about you making a lifestyle change instead of oh, I just want to look good in my swimsuit this season!  Instead, it’s about looking good, and feeling good, too,” said Hickerson.

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