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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Study Shows Low Carb Not Unhealthy

Low-carb Diet Doesn't Raise the Risk of Heart Disease
Nurses Health Study Abstract

All of those low-carbers can now rest easy, science having proven what some have known for years. The Harvard Nurses' Health Study, a huge ongoing study of over 80,000 women, showed that the risk of heart disease between the groups consuming the lowest quantity of carbs and those consuming the highest quantity of carbs (and therefore, the highest and lowest amounts of fat, respectively) differed none. Why is this not surprising? Because humans have been eating a low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet for millions of years. From 2.5 million years ago to about 10,000 years ago, humans subsisted off of that which they could hunt and gather. As vegetables and fruits are relatively nutrient-sparse, most of their calories came from animals, but for some "strange" reason, they weren't keeling over from heart attacks or coming down with cancer. Only with the rise of agriculture and the grain-based diet did those diseases begin occuring.

One of the more interesting points of the study is that the "low carb" group was still consuming 117g of carbohydrates daily, far from low carb. However, low carb diets have never been proven to be dangerous; people with a preconceived hypothesis have simply used that hypothesis to "prove" it wrong. The study authors did still throw in the old party line about eating less animal protein and fat and more vegetable protein and fat. So throw out your beef and chicken and use soy and corn oil. That's sarcasm, by the way. Soy is a dangerous substance, full of antinutrients that disturb your body's hormonal environment and polyunsaturated vegetables oils are strong immunosuppressors and are highly prone to rancidity. It's as simple as "meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar."

Maybe nutritionists will stop prescribing high-carb, low-fat diets for people needing to lose weight. Maybe I shouldn't be so hopeful that those invested in the high-carb fallacy for so long will suddenly see the light.