A low carbohydrate (carb) diet is a diet that restricts your carb intake, such as carbs found in certain grains, vegetables and fruits. The diet also encourages eating high amounts of protein and fat. One of the most popular low carb diets is the Keto Diet. While low carb diets can assist with weight loss, a study done by the American College of Cardiology shows those individuals who significantly restricted their carb intake, were at a greater risk for atrial fibrillation (AFib).
Reducing your carb intake leads to eating fewer vegetables, fruits and grains. This in many cases reduces your intake of vitamins and anti-inflammatory effects, which aide in heart health, according to a study done by the Journal of the American Heart Association.
Not only do people on low carb diets decrease their carb intake, but they also increase their protein and fat intake. This can lead to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance in production of free radicals, which cause damage to cells, and the body’s ability to stop their damaging effects. These damaging effects can lead to heart disease such as AFib, according to Healthline.
What you can do?
Although many people are successful with weight loss during a low-carb diet, it is not recommended for people who are susceptible to heart disease or stroke. Dr. Ziad Alnabki, an endovascular cardiologist at First Coast Cardiovascular Institute, recommends not trying this diet long-term. He recommends trying it for no more than a month. Always talk to your doctor before making any drastic change to your diet, especially if you are susceptible to heart disease.
One of the most heart healthy diets that focus on all major food groups is the Mediterranean diet. Research has shown this diet reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Click here to read more about the Mediterranean diet. (link to article I wrote about the diet)