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The Dangers of High-Carb Diets

New studies are finally bringing attention to the idea that a diet that is high in carbohydrates can be the root cause of many health problems.

Starchy foods that send blood sugar levels skyward, such as white bread and many cereals, are thought to impede the function of blood vessels and contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. The Endocrine Society now believes that cutting back on carbohydrates could help people feel fuller, so they might eat less.

Recent researchers have examined the impact of foods that are high on the glycemic index (starches like potatoes, bread, breakfast cereal, etc.) upon the cell layer that lines the interior portion of blood vessels (the medical term is the “endothelium”). They found that high-glycemic meals hinder the function of this cell layer.

The researchers determined that “high-glycemic index carbs are dangerous since they reduce or inhibit endothelial function, which is the ‘risk of the risk factors,’ leading to atherosclerosis and potentially leading to heart disease.” However, this to-do about an impaired function of a cell layer is merely the symptom of a problem that we’ve known about for some time.

Carbohydrates and high-glycemic foods are huge staples in many diets. From pasta to peas to potatoes, we love scarfing down all manner of starches. Some of the research associated with these latest studies pointed out that a typical person gets more than half of their daily caloric intake from carbs, an average of 55 percent.

To give you an idea of how carbs can impact your health, the researchers placed one of the groups in the study on a “moderate” carb diet that consisted of a daily caloric intake made up of 43 percent carbs. In just one month, the people in this group had exhibited lower blood sugar and insulin levels compared to the group on the “control” diet made up of 55 percent carbs.

Don’t forget that your hair, eyes, skin, liver, kidneys, spleen, thyroid, heart and even blood are made from protein. They’re not made from sugar or carbohydrates. Next to water, the second most abundant substance in the human body is protein, not sugar. If you go more than 4 or so hours without protein, your blood amino acids levels go down to a level where the body begins cannibalizing its own muscle and organ tissue. So, what is the conclusion? Eat a good protein source 6 to 8 oz. three times a day to make certain that your diet is supporting these organs and you are maintaining a proper amino acid level in the blood.

Written by John Lehner

June issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; abstract online at; The Endocrine Society (2011, June 6). Cut down on ‘carbs’ to reduce body fat, study authors say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 9, 2011, from­ /releases/2011/06/110606092532.html.

Author: Natasha Ganes

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