Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates Threaten the Heart

Posted on April 28, 2010  Comments (2)

More Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates, not Fats, Threaten the Heart

Eat less saturated fat: that has been the take-home message from the U.S. government for the past 30 years. But while Americans have dutifully reduced the percentage of daily calories from saturated fat since 1970, the obesity rate during that time has more than doubled, diabetes has tripled, and heart disease is still the country’s biggest killer. Now a spate of new research, including a meta-analysis of nearly two dozen studies, suggests a reason why: investigators may have picked the wrong culprit. Processed carbohydrates, which many Americans eat today in place of fat, may increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease more than fat does – a finding that has serious implications for new dietary guidelines expected this year.

Right now, Post explains, the agency’s main message to Americans is to limit overall calorie intake, irrespective of the source. “We’re finding that messages to consumers need to be short and simple and to the point,” he says. Another issue facing regulatory agencies, notes Harvard’s Stampfer, is that “the sugared beverage industry is lobbying very hard and trying to cast doubt on all these studies.”

The medical studies about what food to eat to remain healthy can be confusing but some details are not really in doubt. So while the exact dangers of processed carbohydrates, fat, excess calories and high fructose corn syrup may be in question their is no doubt we, in the USA, are not as healthy as we should be. And food is a significant part of the problem. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants and get enough exercise is good advice.

Related: Statistical Errors in Medical StudiesResearchers Find High-Fructose Corn Syrup Results in More Weight GainThe Calorie DelusionObesity Epidemic Explained, Kind OfActive Amish Avoid Obesity

2 Responses to “Evidence that Refined Carbohydrates Threaten the Heart”

  1. Jeena
    May 1st, 2010 @ 6:22 pm

    This is alarming to me but then at the same time it isn’t. All of these processed foods that we consume are so not good for our bodies. I firmly think that if we all went back to eating how are ancestors did 50 years ago we would be much healthier and not so obese. Maybe it is time the country went back to basics and started eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains more fully.

  2. Jay
    May 2nd, 2010 @ 3:34 pm

    The problem with studies related to diet & health is that once a fact is published in favor of a certain food item, a couple weeks down the line , another study totally debunks it.

    Sometimes “constant research” on the fat vs calories vs carbs debate can create more confusion for the end user. Also given the wide diversity and genetics involved, food patterns may create different effects with different samples of individuals.

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