A recent article in the “New York Times” includes misleading claims about how low carb diets can cause atrial fibrillation, a condition that causes the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly. The article notes that low carb diets decrease the amount of the ketone molecule in the blood, and atrial fibrillation increases in frequency and severity in animals and humans that are fed low carb diets. It then turns to an American Heart Association (AHA) study that had a few errors, such as failing to control for factors that can affect heart rhythms. It also did not investigate the diets of the patients, rather just their measurements of circulating ketone levels.
Low carbohydrate diets are creating a false association between eating low-carb and atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat. In fact, for some people, high carb diets have been shown to cause atrial fibrillation, a condition that can place them at risk for stroke.
Though the prevalence of atrial fibrillation (AFib) is declining, it remains a leading cause of stroke in the United States, especially among older adults. Because it causes blood clots in the heart, AFib can cause a stroke. But a recent study suggests that diet may play a role in AFib.. Read more about keto gave me a heart attack and let us know what you think.
I attempted to ignore it, but I’m no longer able to. The public’s misconception must be corrected.
Low-carb diets have been linked to atrial fibrillation, a potentially deadly heart rhythm condition, according to popular news stories.
According to NBC News, a low-carb diet may cause IBS.
Low-carb diet linked to frequent cardiac arrhythmias, according to EurekAlert
First and foremost, this research has yet to be published or even presented at a scientific conference. It seems that it will be presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual conference next week. The specifics of a research should not be shared before publication, according to scientific honesty, but obviously not journalistic honesty. The reasons are self-evident. The first is that without real facts to examine, we may make incorrect conclusions.
This research is a great example. According to the headlines, individuals who eat a low-carb diet have a greater chance of getting atrial fibrillation. However, a low-carb diet is defined as one in which carbs account for less than 40% of total calories. For a 2000-calorie diet, that’s 200 grams. On social media, I’ve heard comments like this: On the days when I cheat the most, I consume less carbohydrates than that!
Most low-carb diets stick to fewer than 50 or even 20 grams of carbohydrates, so if 40% of meals may be low-carb by SAD criteria, that’s a lot different from the less than 50 or even 20 grams of carbs that most low-carb diets adhere to. This difference is appropriate. Our bodies still burn carbohydrates and glucose for fuel at 40% carbs. What happens to the obese people? It’s been saved. Or, even worse, it oxidizes and is stored. In any event, a high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet is the most likely to create health issues.
However, the study’s issues do not stop there. We constantly pointing up the same low-quality evidence. Observational studies can show a connection, but they can’t establish causality. Nutrition surveys used to capture participants’ eating habits are widely recognized for not properly reflecting what individuals really eat and for overlooking changes in diet that have happened after the questionnaire was completed. Finally, there are many factors to consider. Was it because they were overweight and wanted to lose weight that individuals decreased their carbohydrate consumption from extremely high to somewhat high (from more than 60% to less than 40%)? Did they have diabetes or high blood pressure, and they wanted to get better?
Atrial fibrillation is caused by obesity, sleep apnea, hypertension, and diabetes. Obesity, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, and diabetes all improve with a low-carb diet (the actual one, not the one used in this research). I believe that a high-quality, well-designed research will demonstrate that a low-carb diet reduces atrial fibrillation. That’s what I’ve seen in my practice, and it’s how I’ll keep using the low-carb diet. A low-carb diet, when followed properly, may be an effective approach to enhance health.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Dr. Bret Sher, FACC
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I’m sorry, dear reader, but you are just going to have to take my word for it when I say I know what I’m talking about. When I get this stuff wrong I feel very bad about it. And I don’t want anyone to think I do this on purpose, so I want to take this opportunity to explain what I meant.. Read more about optavia and afib and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can low carb diets cause AFib?
The answer is no.
Is low carb diet good for AFib?
Low carb diets are not recommended for people with AFib.
Can low carbs cause heart palpitations?
Heart palpitations can be caused by a number of things, including low blood sugar and high blood pressure.
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