Graham Beaton BHSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

Many individuals are turning to low carbohydrate-high protein diets for weight loss. While a number of studies have noted that these diets may be successful in promoting short term weight loss, there is concern over their overall safety.

A new study published in the June 26 edition of the BMJ (formerly titled the British Medical Journal) by Lagiou et al. (2012) looked to determine if eating a high protein/low carbohydrate diet was associated with increased cardiovascular risk.

In the study, the researchers selected 43,396 women aged 30-49 years and followed for an average of 15.7 years. Over the course of the study the women completed questionnaires that asked about lifestyle habits (smoking and alcohol consumption), health history (including cardiovascular events), physical activity, and diet. Participants were grouped according to their daily carbohydrate and protein intake. Results showed that women who consumed low carbohydrate-high protein diets were at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to the other participants. It should be noted that the researchers did appropriately note that this effect was seen in individuals who ate low carbohydrate high protein diets without considering their type or source.

While many continue to promote a low protein-high carbohydrate diet for weight loss, it is important to remember that they may only offer short term success, and without careful consideration of the type or source of the carbohydrates and protein, these diets also increase one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

If you are wanting to lose weight safely and effectively, have questions on what a successful weight loss program entails, or would like to know how naturopathic medicine can help you, please call Graham Beaton, Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at 613-290-6115. Graham is currently accepting new patients and his office is located in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa.