What works better than low-fat for a healthy heart?

For a long time, a low-fat diet was the go-to diet plan for people looking to prevent heart disease…

All you had to do was switch to skim milk, ditch the butter for margarine and search for the words “low-fat” on every package you purchased, and you’d be well on your way to a healthy heart, right?

Wrong. Not only does a low-fat diet increase your risk of an early death, but it turns out it’s far from the best choice for keeping your heart healthy too.

But if a low-fat diet doesn’t keep your heart healthy, then what diet does?

Well, let’s just say, the answer to that question will please Paleo, Atkins and ketogenic eaters everywhere…

The low-carb heart cure

Researchers from the University of the Negev and Soroka University Medical Centre in Israel found that eating a low-carb Mediterranean diet was more effective than eating a low-fat Mediterranean diet when it comes to reducing hidden fat deposits around the heart.

In case you didn’t know that you have to worry about “heart fat” on top of all the other types of fat you worry about, you do. These fat deposits are known as pericardial fat, and they put you at risk for heart disease.

Low-carb eating helped people lose twice as much of this dangerous heart fat as low-fat eating did. Researchers also found that cutting carbs increased levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and trimmed fat around the waistline better than cutting fat.

So clearly low-carb trumps low-fat in the heart health department — it decreases pericardial fat, boosts good cholesterol and does away with that dangerous belly fat. What more could you ask for?

Oh yeah… it helps you lose weight too. People who ate low-carb Mediterranean diets slimmed down all over… not just in their waist and their heart.

Should you go low-carb?

Based on this study, you may be considering a low-carb Mediterranean diet for yourself… and you should! It’s one of the healthiest diet philosophies around.

But how do you go low-carb and Mediterranean simultaneously? Well, truth be told, it’s pretty easy. Just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Steer clear of added sugar, especially high fructose corn syrup found in processed foods.
  • Stay away from refined carbs like white bread, pasta and white rice.
  • Get your carbs from whole grains and beans
  • Eat loads of colorful vegetables, especially green leafy ones to load up on vitamin K2. You might want to consider a supplement like Peak Cardio Platinum, if you tend to eat fewer veggies.
  • Stick to one to two servings of low-sugar fruit per day, like berries, apples or pears.
  • Pack in the protein. Quality is key when it comes to protein, though. Avoid processed meats, and choose fresh local, organic and/or grass-fed meats instead.
  • Fill up on healthy fats. That includes full-fat dairy products, nuts, avocados and healthy oils like olive oil and coconut oil.

Sources:

  1. A Mediterranean LOW-CARB diet is better for your heart and waistline than a LOW-FAT plan, study shows — The Daily Mail. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  2. Tasban, et al. “Dynamics of intrapericardial and extrapericardial fat tissues during long-term, dietary-induced, moderate weight loss.” — American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017.
  3. Fat Around The Heart May Increase Risk Of Heart Attacks — ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  4. 7 Principles for Low-Carb Mediterranean-Style Eating — Tips on Life & Love from Simon & Schuster. Retrieved September 18, 2017.

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Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is the founder and Chief Research officer for Peak Pure & Natural.