Last weekend, as the smell of grilled meat wafted through my neighbourhood, I thought, Yes, it’s barbeque season! A BBQ is one of the great joys of summer that most everyone loves, even if they’re on one of the many popular low-carb diets. And while a meat-heavy, high fat diet isn’t generally associated with healthy living, a new study released at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting in Denver found otherwise. According to the research, losing weight with a high-fat diet doesn’t harden the arteries‘at least in the short term.
Led by Kerry J. Stewart, director of clinical and research exercise physiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the research examined the short-term impact of a low-carb diet. Starting with Atkins in the 1970s, low-carb diets have been scrutinized for their emphasis on meats, which are high in fat.
Stewart told HealthDay, “It’s pretty clear low-carb is effective for weight loss. The concern has been that because you are eating more fat this is going to put stress on your blood vessels.” So, in one study, Kerry looked at the impact of eating a meaty McDonald’s breakfast. It had 900 calories and 50 grams of fat, the equivalent of your recommended daily intake. Shockingly, the there weren’t any immediate vascular changes and the subjects’ arteries actually appeared to relaxing‘by 16 percent’rather than stiffening.
Another study led by Stewart put 55 people who were overweight or obese on low-carb or low-fat diets, and a program of three workouts a week. The low-carb group lost 10 pounds in 45 days (compared to 70), and there was no negative impact on their vascular health.
The long-term effects of such diets are still unknown, and the influence of exercise on the study’s participants is unclear. Another critical missing piece of information is the fat’s impact on other measures of heart health, including cholesterol levels. However, Stewart is working on a larger, long-term study that aims to fill in the blanks, reports the New York Times.
If the findings to come bear out the initial results, however, you might really be able to have it all: smokies on the grill, water skiing on the lake and, as a result, a healthy bod to show off in your swimsuit!