December 17, 2014 – Low Carb


Anchor lead: Which type of diet is best for reducing cardiovascular risk? Elizabeth Tracey reports

How do certain foods impact blood sugar, known as glycemic index, and does that make a difference in reducing cardiovascular risk?  That was the question examined in a recent study by Lawrence Appel and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.

Appel: We were interested in the effects of high versus low carbohydrate, high glycemic versus low glycemic index diets on cardiovascular risk factors. Blood pressure, lipids, and also insulin resistance.  :14

Most people predicted that high glycemic foods would promote cardiovascular risk factors, Appel says.

Appel: What we found surprisingly was glycemic index really didn’t do too much. There was a small rise in blood sugar, there were no effects of glycemic index on blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and modest effects on triglycerides.  :15

Appel concludes that emphasis on foods of high or low glycemic index really isn’t the issue when it comes to risk factors for heart disease, so modifying other things like smoking or sedentary lifestyle is more likely to be helpful.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.