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Healthy Heart Reports

High Glycemic Index Foods Can Cause Heart Attacks

For the last 60 years, doctors have told us that a high-fat diet causes heart attacks, now a study from Harvard Medical School shows that eating lots of refined carbohydrates can also cause heart attacks.

The glycemic index measures how high a person's blood sugar rises after eating a certain food in comparison to blood sugar rise with sugar. A study of 75,000 women showed that those most likely to suffer a heart attack ate the most foods that cause the highest rise in blood sugar. High glycemic index foods include all those that have added sugar such as pastries, cakes, cookies and most soft drinks; those made from flour such as bakery products and pastas; fruit juices; root vegetables such as potatoes and beets; and fruits.

Now, preventing heart attacks must include not only reducing your intake of added fats, particularly saturated and partially hydrogenated fats; you should also avoid refined carbohydrates. Eat lots of vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts. People with diabetes and those who are overweight should eat fruits and root vegetables only in combination with other foods to slow the rise in blood sugar.

SM Liu, WC Willett, MJ Stampfer, FB Hu, M Franz, L Sampson, CH Hennekens, JE Manson. A prospective study of dietary glycemic load, carbohydrate intake, and risk of coronary heart disease in US women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2000, Vol 71, Iss 6, pp 1455-1461Address Liu SM, Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Div Prevent Med, Dept Med, 900 Commonwealth Ave E, Boston,MA 02215 USA


Copyright 2000
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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