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Watch out, carb lovers: A diet high in white bread and pasta can double your risk of heart disease!

by , 12 May 2015

Before you tuck into a high-carb lunch today, I suggest you read this…

A new study has uncovered that people who eat white carbohydrates like white bread and pasta are at double the risk of developing heart disease than those who eat less of them.

That's right - white carbs can do more serious harm than just undo your weight loss goals!

Read on for more.

White carbs cause your blood sugar to spike

The most commonly-consumed white carbs include white bread, pasta, white rice and pizza. Yep, all that good stuff. These foods cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels due to their high glycaemic index (GI).
 
Study author Sabina Sieri, from the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, says that a diet high in carbs isn’t necessarily harmful to your heart. However, a diet high in white carbs (that have a high GI) is.
 
Sieri explains that GI ranks on a scale from 1 to 100 how quickly (or slowly) carbs affect your blood sugar levels. And here’s a shocking fact for you – white bread scores 100!
 
Low GI foods are those ranked below 55. These produce only small fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels. High GI foods are those ranked above 70. These tend to cause unhealthy spikes in blood sugar.
 
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In the new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Sieri and her team analysed data from a large, ongoing study of nutrition and cancer risk. The researchers surveyed roughly 48,000 Italian adults about their diets. They noted the amount and types of carbs that the participants consumed regularly. People with diabetes or abnormal blood sugar and insulin levels were not included.
 
Unsurprisingly (considering the study took place in Italy), bread, pasta and pizza were common sources of carbs.
 
During the eight-year follow-up period, 463 people experienced heart problems, ranging from heart attacks to bypass surgery. Some of these people even died of heart disease-related causes.
 
However, the study’s most significant finding was that people who ate lots of white carbs were at double the risk of developing heart disease. And, interestingly, researchers found women to be at increased risk. They say that this is because women process carbs differently to men.
 
Sieri says that previous studies have shown a similar link between GI and heart disease risk. “We hope to be able to repeat this analysis on more than 500,000 subjects in order to confirm our results,” she says.
 

Replacing white carbs with low GI foods

Joanna McMillan Price, a nutritionist in Sydney, Australia and author of The Low GI Diet, offers the following advice: Cut out processed carbs and replace them with minimally-processed whole grains and low-GI starchy fruits, vegetables and legumes.
 
Price adds that there are many benefits to limiting foods with a high GI. She says people who do so will find it easier to control their appetite and achieve their weight loss goals. 
 
According to Price, the best low-GI foods are whole-grain breads, barley, quinoa, beans, chickpeas, low-fat dairy products and sweet potatoes.
 
Editor’s note: Do you already suffer from heart disease? Then this might interest you! Our researchers at the Natural Health Dossier recently uncovered that statin drugs are only one of three great heart disease scams South Africans are falling for every day. Discover the other two, plus what you can do about them, in this urgent health report

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