Archive for April, 2010

Carbohydrate Fanatics and the Heart…

April 14, 2010

Filipinos love bread.  We are carbohydrate eaters. You see bread shoppes in every corner of the Philippines. Cheap and easy to get and filling.  But in every food that we eat comes the recommendation of moderation.  One reason why diabetes is rising  in epidemic proportion in our country is because of the loads of carbos that we eat and the lack of exercise that we usually hate. 

Now comes this article published in Archives of Internal Medicine, April 2010 that looked at carbohydrate intake and the risk of heart disease.


Background  Dietary glycemic load (GL) and glycemic index (GI) in relation to cardiovascular disease have been investigated in a few prospective studies with inconsistent results, particularly in men. The present EPICOR study investigated the association of GI and GL with coronary heart disease (CHD) in a large and heterogeneous cohort of Italian men and women originally recruited to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.
Methods  We studied 47 749 volunteers (15 171 men and 32 578 women) who completed a dietary questionnaire. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling estimated adjusted relative risks (RRs) of CHD and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

Results  During a median of 7.9 years of follow-up, 463 CHD cases (158 women and 305 men) were identified. Women in the highest carbohydrate intake quartile had a significantly greater risk of CHD than did those in the lowest quartile (RR, 2.00; 95% CI, 1.16-3.43), with no association found in men (P = .04 for interaction). Increasing carbohydrate intake from high-GI foods was also significantly associated with greater risk of CHD in women (RR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.02-2.75), whereas increasing the intake of low-GI carbohydrates was not. Women in the highest GL quartile had a significantly greater risk of CHD than did those in the lowest quartile (RR, 2.24; 95% CI, 1.26-3.98), with no significant association in men (P = .03 for interaction).

Conclusion  In this Italian cohort, high dietary GL and carbohydrate intake from high-GI foods increase the overall risk of CHD in women but not men.


So what are the foods that have high Glycemic Index?

Foods we usually eat daily like white bread, honey, the ube or mango jam that we usually spread in our bread,the yummy cheese and bacon pizza, and our daily rice.  On the other hand the foods that are low in glycemic index include noodles or pasta and fruit.  Low GI foods are what we recommend to our diabetic pateints becuase they dont increase the blood sugar as much.

The study showed that increasing carbohydrate intake from foods with a high glycemic index was associated with increasing risk of developing heart disease. The increase in risk is as high as 68% which is really significant compared to those who took foods that are low in sugar content.  The risk maybe related to the changes in triglycerides and HDL ( the good cholesterol) seen among women known to have a significant impact in heart disease risk.  The higher the carbo intake, the higher the triglycerides will be and the lower the good cholesterol can become.

So,,,Easy on Pizza loading the next time you are in the mall!!!!

To our carbo fanatics… take it easy on your next craving.