New Study, High Protein Diet is Linked to Heart Risk

According to a new study [here] published in the British Medical Journal, adherents to a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet have a significantly increased risk of suffering from a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack or stroke.

For the study, researchers tracked the health of 43,400 middle-aged Swedish women over a 15 year period.

The study found that individuals following a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet are 28 percent more likely to suffer from a heart attack or stroke while following the diet. Researchers also found that even a simple swap to incorporate additional animal-based protein in the diet can have negative health impacts. For example, replacing a daily serving of bread with an egg can raise the risk of dying of a heart attack or stroke by five percent.

The study’s lead author warned about the potentially negative health impacts of following low-carbohydrate diets over the long term, noting: “This study is bad news for people who follow these types of diet for long periods of time. They should be very careful about dietary regimes, the long term safety of which have not been studied adequately.”

She also pointed out that the main concern with the diet was not with protein intake per se, but with the fact that the high-protein foods tended to be animal products, which are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Although proponents assert that low-carb plans are a “viable, safe, effective and sound diet,” other prominent health experts warn that the potential short-term weight loss benefits of the diet ”seem irrelevant in the face of increasing evidence of higher morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases in the long-term.”

The study team authors concluded that a low carbohydrate, high protein diet "used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins are associated with increased cardiovascular risk." It is important to note that this research did not find an increase in disease risk when the protein source was derived from nuts, seeds or vegetables. The study confirms the importance of a diet comprised of natural foods from organic sources with a balance toward carbohydrates from slow-releasing vegetables and fruits and moderate intake of proteins in the form of nuts and seeds to lower cardiovascular disease risk.

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  1. That is interesting story, I always thought it is good for health and same is explained by fitness trainers. I need to do more research on the same

  2. This is proven many times and years ago that excessive use of anything is bad or can have risk to health. Thanks for sharing the useful post.