Thursday, May 20, 2010

High GI Foods Linked to Heart Attack Risk

As you all know I try to keep our intake of bread and pasta as low as possible for blood sugar reasons. Our resting blood glucose is low (upper 80’s) and I want it to stay there.

According to this abstract, “People who cut saturated fats while increasing intake of refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta have a higher risk of heart attack, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”

“They found a statistically significant correlation between replacing saturated fat calories with refined carbohydrates – those described as ‘high-GI’ and thought to cause a spike in blood sugar levels – and heart attack risk. For those subjects with the highest average dietary glycemic index, heart attack risk increased by 33 percent for every five percent increase in calorie intake from carbohydrates. “

“The researchers said that determining the public health impact of glycemic index-based diets could be difficult, but recommended consumption of “less-refined foods, nonstarchy vegetables, fruit, and legumes” as the most practical way to reduce heart disease risk.”

“Indeed, these recommendations would also tend to promote dietary patterns high in fiber and micronutrients, dietary factors also considered to play a role in the prevention of IHD [ischemic heart disease],” they wrote.

In my mind this is another reason to keep the consumption of refined carbs as low as you can. As I have said many times the same diet that is good for preventing and/or slowing cancer seems to work for all the other chronic diseases.


  1. I have known this for quite awhile, but I am still amazed at the "dieters" and people with illness' that still have not realized the hazards of eating refined carbs...It is a pity that this Knowledge is not posted daily on a television channel devoted to REAL health..
    There are my two cents worth..

  2. Brandi,

    Foods high in GI or GL aren't great for many reasons. It is sad that so few people understand the hazards of elevating their blood glucose. What a strange world we live in where it is normal to pop pills and have open heart surgery but a whole foods diet is radical.


  3. I'm curious, do you know of any bread or cracker that is low GI and good for you? I'm trying to follow the E2L program, but sure miss those things!

    Is any ground grain considered refined? Does the grinding cause the GI to go up?

  4. Laura,

    Dehydrated flax crackers have a low GI. I like to use cucumber slices in place of crackers. They are fast but still cruchy like crackers.

    You are absolutely correct, grinding causes the GI to go up. My understanding is that by grinding the grains into tiny pieces it makes it much easier for the body to absorb and therefore increase blood glucose. Even though we have low blood glucose I try to keep our grain intake to a minimum so we keep it that way (dinner out is usually our exception since pasta or pizza is frequently the most palatable vegan option).

    I hope that helps,


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