If a new study is correct, women have a new reason to minimize their intake of certain carbohydrates: heart disease. According to the study, women who eat more high glycemic foods, such as white bread, white rice, and other foods that cause blood sugar to spike, are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than other women. Foods that spike blood sugar are also referred to as high glycemic.
The women in the upper 25th percentile of high glycemic food eating in the study had double the heart attack risk of those in the lower 25th percentile.
The researchers found that men who also eat excessive amounts of high glycemic foods don’t have the same increased risk. It’s thought that maybe men’s bodies process the carbs differently.
It’s important to note that this isn’t an endorsement of low-carb dieting. It’s only singling out the high glycemic carbs. Carbs with a low glycemic index, like fruit and pasta, were not associated with an increased risk of heart disease. This suggests that the increased risk for heart disease is not caused by a diet high in carbohydrates, but by a diet rich in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates.
The researchers surveyed about 48,000 Italian adults about their diets, taking note of the amount and types of carbohydrates they regularly consumed. People with diabetes were not included in the study.
The lead author of the study was Sabina Sieri of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, a national institute for cancer research in Milan, Italy. So, I’m sure the researchers’ countrymen were happy to see pasta is not verboten.
April 15th, 2010