Low-carbohydrate diets have been advocated for weight loss and to prevent obesity, but the long-term safety of these diets has not been determined. A study was conducted by Dr. Hu at the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston.
The researchers at Harvard University’s schools of medicine and public health, reviewed records of 82,802 women in the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study over 20 years. The women were not dieting to lose weight. In fact, on average they were slightly overweight and increased their body-mass index roughly 10 percent during the study.
Low-carbohydrate diets or low carb diets are nutritional programs that advocate restricted carbohydrate consumption, based on research that ties carbohydrate consumption with increased blood insulin levels, and overexposure to insulin with metabolic syndrome (the most recognized symptom of which is obesity).
Under these dietary programs, foods high in carbohydrates (such as sugar, grains, and starches) are limited or replaced with foods containing a higher percentage of proteins, fats, and/or fiber.
Researchers concluded that diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat are not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease in women. When vegetable sources of fat and protein are chosen, these diets may moderately reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.