Should Heart Patients Follow A Low-Carb diet?


World Heart Day 2018: Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious of low-carb diet

World Heart Day is celebrated all over the world on the 29th September.  In the past decades, heart diseases used to affect only the aged people but now a large part of the world population deals with chronic heart diseases at a very young age now. This may be due to sedentary lifestyle or unhealthy eating habits. Heart disease is caused when plaque buildup thickens and stiffens up the artery walls, which can inhibit blood flow through your arteries to your organs and tissues. This damage can lead to serious health problems like heart attacks, stroke or even death. This World Heart Day we want to spread awareness about the importance of a healthy heart. Therefore, the following article includes how a low-carbohydrate diet can adversely effect your health.

What is a Low-carb diet?

A low-carb diet in particular, limits carbohydrates from foods such as grains, starchy vegetables and fruits and emphasizes on foods that are high in protein and fat. Many types of low-carb diet exist. A low-carb diet is generally beneficial for weight loss. Some low-carb diets may have several health benefits beyond weight loss, such as reducing risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome. People generally switch to a low-carb diet when they want a diet that restricts certain carbohydrates that help you to lose weight, when you want to change your overall eating habits or simply enjoy the type and amounts of foods that are included in a low-carb diet. Check with your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet, especially if you have any health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. 


Low-carb diets may have several health benefits
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Also read: Low-Carb Diet May Improve Eyesight: 6 Health Benefits Of Low Carb Diets

What does the low-carb diet include?

  • Meats
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Butter
  • Oils
  • Fibrous vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Milk

Why is a low-carb diet criticized?

One of the basic criticisms of a low-carb diet is that many people tend to consume high amounts of protein and unhealthy fats from processed foods, with a reduction in fruits and vegetables. Patients with chronic kidney disease need to be cautious of this diet as it could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may even feel exhausted in the beginning, while some may have a bad breath, nausea, decreased bone density, vitamin and mineral deficiency, vomiting, constipation and sleep problems.


Many people on a low-carb diet tend to consume high amounts of protein and unhealthy fats
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Also read: 10 Dangerous Side Effects Of A Low-Carb Diet

Low-carb diet and its effects on heart:

While some fats can be healthy, there is always a risk involved in following a low-carb diet, you tend to increase your intake of unhealthy trans and saturated fats. These unhealthy fats are found in things like red meat, poultry skin, cheese, cream and butter and can lead to an increased risk of bad cholesterol. If you follow a low-carbohydrate diet that is higher in fat and also high in protein, it is important to stick to foods with healthy unsaturated fats and healthy proteins. You should also limit foods containing saturated and trans fats, such as meat, high-fat dairy products, and processed crackers and pastries. 

While on a low-carb diet you may experience a slightly elevated heart rate during the first few weeks. It is also common to experience that the heart is beating a bit harder. This is normal and you should not worry about it. The primary reason for this may be dehydration and a lack of salt. A reduction in the amount of circulating fluid in the blood stream means that the heart will have to pump blood slightly harder or faster to maintain blood pressure.


While some fats can be healthy, there is always a risk involved in following a low-carb diet
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Best Low-Carb Foods You Must Have For Quick Weight Loss

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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