Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Low-Carb Causes Heart Damage? Hogwash!

Just one day after this amazing study was released extoling the virtues of a high-fat, low-carb program, we get this Food Consumer story blares the scathing headline, "Atkins' diet can damage heart."

Hoo boy, this one's not gonna be pretty.

Research presented by Professor Kieran Clarke, from the Cardiac Metabolism Research Group of Oxford University, at the American Heart Association's annual meeting recently in Dallas, Texas found that consuming a high-fat, low-carb diet along the lines of what the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins recommended could lead to heart damage because the heart is unable to store energy as it should.

Clarke observed 19 people who followed the Induction phase of livin' la vida low-carb for two weeks and used magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to look at the heart muscle to see how energy was being stored.

At the end of the study, Clarke concluded that those who followed the low-carb, Atkins diet-styled weight loss program had "significantly reduced" stored energy in their heart which she believes could lead to heart failure.

Maintaining that the low-carb lifestyle is "unbalanced," the story goes on to quote Clarke as saying one of the study participants "couldn't manage his daily run while on the [low-carb] diet."

Although Clarke said this effect on the heart was reversed after the study participants returned to a "normal" diet (what's normal? Low-fat, low-calorie and portion controlled?), but revealed the study is too short-sighted to mean anything. In fact, she said that the heart may have "gradually returned to normal" by remaining on the low-carb plan beyond the Induction phase.

Ya think? I've been livin' la vida low-carb for nearly two years and arguably am in the best physical shape of my life. My heart is strong as I continue to eat this way along with a daily dose of cardio workouts. Any reputable researchers who concludes that the Atkins diet or any other low-carb lifestyle change leads to heart failure is putting their integrity on the line for the sake of dismissing this healthy way of eating.

The only damage being caused on people is from those who want to keep people from even trying a low-carb program for themselves. From my personal experience, nothing has been easier, more delicious, more satisfying and healthier than livin' la vida low-carb. I've got my life back because of low-carb and I won't sit by idly while some so-called expert gets on her high horse and tries to tell me how awful and dangerous it is.

British Heart Foundation medical director Peter Weissberg is quoted in the story as saying "this research in no way suggests that a high fat, low carb regime is going to give them heart failure."

Oh, really?! Then why was it made public with the headline "ATKINS' DIET CAN DAMAGE HEART?" Hmm?? I understand the media will hyperbolize anything negative about the Atkins diet because they hate it with a passion. But Clarke and her researchers should have held off on releasing any part of this study until they could look at the long-term effects of livin' la vida low-carb on the heart. They could have asked me and I would have been happy to tell 'em how healthy my heart is!

Weissberg added, "Extreme, unbalanced diets are a major insult on their bodies' metabolism and as this study indicates, may have direct effects on their hearts."

I'll be sure to stay away from the "extreme" low-fat diets that have failed time after time after time. Instead, I'll be livin' la vida low-carb with my 50 bpm healthy heart for a very, very, very long time.

Why don't you tell Kieran Clarke what you think about her worthless study by e-mailing her at


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