Take note: If you eat a lot of simple carbs, you are hurting your heart. Plain and simple.
A new study published in today’s Archives of Internal Medicine studied 47,000 Italian adults and found that women who eat more white bread, white rice and pizza had double the risk of heart disease.
Those foods all have a high glycemic index, which means that they raise the levels of blood sugar quickly. The “white foods” – white flour and sugar and many foods made with them – are all high on the glycemic index.
The researchers studied 15,171 men and 32,578 women who have completed dietary questionnaires for many years. The same effect was not found in the men, though the men had more heart problems overall.
From BBC News:
The researchers found that the women whose diet had the highest glycemic load had more than double the risk of heart disease compared with those women with the lowest glycemic load. (Those with diabetes were excluded from the study.)
The authors concluded: "Thus, a high consumption of carbohydrates from high-glycemic index foods, rather than the overall quantity of carbohydrates consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing coronary heart disease."
The researchers believe that a high-glycemic diet may dampen 'good' cholesterol levels in women more than in men.
From CNN Health:
Only carbohydrates with a high glycemic index appear to hurt the heart. Carbs with a low glycemic index – such as fruit and pasta – were not associated with an increased risk of heart disease, which suggests that the increased risk is caused "not by a diet high in carbohydrates, but by a diet rich in rapidly absorbed carbohydrates," says the lead author of the study, Sabina Sieri, of the Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, a national institute for cancer research in Milan, Italy.
The glycemic index ranks on a scale from 1 to 100 how quickly (or slowly) carbohydrates affect your blood-sugar levels.