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Heart disease

High-glycemic carbohydrates lead to heart disease

Friday, July 02, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: heart disease, glycemic index, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recent Italian study has found that women who eat diets rich in high-glycemic carbohydrates double their risk of developing coronary heart disease. Published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the study confirms what many already know concerning high-glycemic foods and heart disease risk.

High-glycemic carbohydrates are things like refined breads and pizza doughs, bleached rice, and refined sugars, which common sense indicates are bad for health anyway. They are stripped of many of their nutrient components so they turn quickly into energy once in the body, raising blood sugar levels and overburdening the body.

Over 47,000 Italian adults were included in the study, and after seven years, researchers concluded that women in particular who had the highest glycemic load were at the highest risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Researchers noted that high-glycemic carbohydrates, as opposed to carbohydrates in general, are to blame for the increased risk, but they say they don't know precisely why this is the case.

"A high consumption of carbohydrates from high-glycemic index foods, rather than the overall quantity of carbohydrates consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing coronary heart disease," explained study authors.

They suspect that "good" cholesterol levels are reduced with a high-glycemic diet, but they are unsure why women are affected by them more than men are.

High-glycemic foods in general are not healthy when eaten in excess because they raise blood sugar levels and can lead to diseases like diabetes. They also contribute to obesity because, more often than not, they are missing necessary components that have been removed during the processing and refining process.

So it makes perfect sense that high-glycemic carbohydrates, or simple carbohydrates, are more harmful than low-glycemic carbohydrates, or complex carbohydrates. The more whole and complete a carbohydrate is, the better it is for the body.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is recommending that women eat more low-glycemic foods to combat their increased risk.

"They could try broadening the types of bread and cereals they eat to include granary, rye or oat; including more beans, pulses; and accompanying meals with a good helping of fruit and vegetables," emphasized Victoria Taylor, senior heart health dietician at BHF.

Both women and men would do well to follow this protocol and limit their consumption of high-glycemic foods, choosing instead to eat whole, complex foods that are rich in vital nutrients that maintain health and prevent disease.

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