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Sharp restriction of carbohydrates in the diet can be dangerous.

Last reviewed by: Aleksey Portnov , medical expert, on 12.01.2019
12 January 2019, 09:00

Dietary diets that reduce the amount of carbohydrates increase the risk of premature death - this is what scientists say.

The first thing that comes to mind to a person who wants to lose weight is the restriction or even the exclusion of carbohydrates. The logic of this is present, because the rapidly released energy forces the body to store reserves of fat, the excess of which over time violates a number of metabolic processes.

Nutritionists can offer a choice of several low-carb food options. It is assumed that the main purpose of such diets is to force the body not to accumulate, but to burn calories.

Nevertheless, according to representatives of the European Society of Cardiology, in fact low-carb diets can be dangerous in the long term. For several years, physicians have been considering various dietary projects that question the benefits of prolonged restriction of carbohydrate foods. The same problem was raised at a regular society conference by experts from the University of Lodz.

Scientists have studied a number of statistical facts obtained during an extensive medical project that lasted for eleven years in the United States. Researchers have observed almost 25,000 patients in the middle age group of 40–50 years old: first of all, they recorded data on the diseases of these people, methods of nutrition, and causes of death.

As a result, it was found that those patients who adhered to the low-carb diet had a greater chance of dying for six years (about 32%), unlike those who preferred a high-carb diet. The probability of death from diseases of the cardiovascular system or oncology was respectively 50% and 35%. Researchers clarified this point: when comparing mortality among patients with excess and normal weight, those people whose weight was within the normal range were more likely to die on low-carb diets.

Similar results were obtained when conducting an indirect analysis of third-party projects that were conducted on the same subject: the statistics of such works covered more than half a million people, and they were monitored for 15-16 years.

As a result, such an analysis showed that low carbohydrate food increases the risk of premature death by 15% (in particular, death from cardiovascular problems - by 13%, and from oncological diseases - by 8%).

Scientists explain that eating a small amount of carbohydrates can have a positive effect on metabolic processes, on the quality of the pancreas, on blood pressure indicators - but only if the listed problems exist and with a limited period of this type of diet. To comply with such restrictions in the diet constantly in order to control weight is impractical. Of course, one thing - the rejection of sweets and white pastries. And quite another thing - to abandon complex carbohydrates: cereals, pasta and hard wheat varieties. In priority, people should have a healthy and balanced diet, and not the banal exclusion of carbohydrates.

Details on the above information can be found on page. Https://www.escardio.org/The-ESC/Press-Office/Press-releases/Low-carbohydrate-diets-are-unsafe-and-should-be-avoided

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