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Eat More Carbs to Lower Heart Risk: Popular Diets Can Impact Cardiovascular Health

May 31, 2019 08:47AM

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Regardless of the type of protein consumed, low-carb diets significantly increase the risk of atrial fibrillation (AFib), according to a study presented at the latest annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology. Analyzing the records of almost 14,000 people over a 20-year period, researchers found that diets such as Atkins, ketogenic and paleo, which emphasize protein instead of fruits, vegetables and grains, boosted the risk of AFib by 18 percent compared to diets with moderate carb intake. Researchers theorize that consuming less produce and fewer grains may aggravate inflammation, while eating high amounts of protein and fat may increase oxidative stress. Both conditions are linked to AFib, in which the heart beats irregularly, potentially causing palpitations, dizziness and fatigue. It’s also linked to a five-fold increase in strokes.


This article appears in the June 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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