Researchers at the University of Athens in Greece have found that people, and specifically women, eating large amounts of protein but very little carbohydrate have an increased risk of heart attack. The type of diet such as a typical Atkins diet plan restricts the amounts of items such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta, in favour of higher quantities of eggs, bacon, chicken, fish and broccoli.
The study across 10,000 adults, followed people on the Atkins diet, against those having a normal diet, showed an increase in the likelihood of suffering a stroke or heart attack. Whilst the increase is not high, it is worth avoiding any potential risks where problems with the heart and circulation are involved, because they are inevitably serious and in many cases result in death.
Victoria Taylor, senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This study highlights the need for us to balance our diets. Don’t feel you have to choose between carbohydrates or protein. Eating a mixture of all food groups, instead of cutting anything out completely, will help you to stay healthy inside and out. Try Including lean proteins and low-fat dairy, whole-grain and high fibre carbohydrates, along with lots of fruit and veg and small amounts of healthy fats. Enjoying these in a balanced way is far better for you heart and your waistline than trying to stick to a strict diet”.
Health Authorities throughout the world are in very close agreement as to the Recommended Daily Intake of food nutrients to sustain a healthy body. These recommendations include calories, protein, fibre, fats and oils, carbohydrate, salt, vitamins and minerals. Dieting requires a reduction in the amount of calorie intake, it can achieved quite easily by switching types of products; Pork and Cod have similar protein levels for the same weight, but Cod has around only a quarter of the calories. Likewise boiled potatoes have only a quarter of the calories of oil rich sauté and chipped potatoes.
Reductions in calorie intake can easily without having to behave like a Monk, and still taking in the necessary nutrients to promote good health. If you are considering a diet just check on what you have eaten over the last week, including those snacks, and see how you could limit the calories. Some examples, take a smaller size, a 12 inch pizza has twice as many calories as an 8 inch pizza, and in the example of the basic large pizza from an international pizza chain has more than the recommended calories for a day, twice the desired level of fat and fifty percent over the limit for salt – all on one plate! Consider the healthy items such as a salad, which is low in calories, but when an oil based dressing is added it rockets up the calorie ladder, one tablespoon of olive oil has 109 calories. Just think before you eat
On a side note unfortunately the creator of the Atkins diet, the American heart specialist Robert Atkins, died in 2002 at the comparatively young age of 72. He had a heart attack!