Nutrition and Wellness

Low-Carb Diet Tied to Heart Rhythm Disorder


Individuals getting a very low percentage of their daily calories from carbohydrates, such as fruits, grains, and starchy vegetables, are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation, or AFib. This health issue is one of the most prevalent heart rhythm disorders, according to a new research study being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.

The research study examined the health records of almost 14,000 people spanning two or more decades. Researchers brought data from Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities, or ARIC, a research study controlled by the National Institutes of Health which was conducted from 1985 to 2016. Of almost 1,900 participants that were diagnosed through a mean of 22 years of follow-up, a majority of them were identified with AFib by researchers. The details of the research study are described below.

AFib and Carbohydrates

Research study participants were requested to report the everyday consumption of 66 distinct food items in a poll. The researchers utilized this information to gauge the percentage of calories which came from carbohydrates from each participant’s calorie intake. Carbohydrates were contained in roughly half of the daily calories consumed by the participants.

Researchers subsequently separated the participants into three separate groups categorized by low, moderate, and high carbohydrate intake, representing diets where carbohydrates consisted less than 44.8 percent of their daily calories, followed by 44.8 to 52.4 percent, and finally where carbohydrates consisted more than 52.4 percent of their daily calories, respectively.

Participants who reporting reduced carbohydrate consumption were the ones who had the highest probability of developing AFib, according to researchers. As the statistics of the research study later demonstrated, these participants were also 18 percent more likely to come up with AFib compared to those with moderate carbohydrate intake and 16 percent more likely to come up with AFib compared to those with high carbohydrate ingestion. Some diets can also help decrease the risk of heart rhythm disorders.

The type of carbohydrates you eat can make a huge difference in your overall health and wellness. Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates and these release a steady release of sugar, or glucose, into the blood stream. Complex carbohydrates, often referred to as “starchy” foods, include legumes, starchy vegetables, whole grain, and fiber. According to the research study in the following article, consuming low amounts of carbohydrates, which often includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, can contribute to cardiovascular diseases, such as atrial fibrillation. When it comes to carbohydrates, it’s important to consume this essential macronutrient for overall health and wellness.

Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Nutrition for AFib

Restricting carbohydrates has become a popular weight loss plan. Many diets, such as the Paleo and the ketogenic diet, highlight the consumption of proteins. According to Xiaodong Zhuang, MD, PhD, cardiologist and the research study’s lead author, “The long-term impact of carbohydrate restriction remains controversial, particularly with respect to its own influence on cardiovascular disease.” “Considering the possible effects on arrhythmia, our research study indicates that this popular weight control system ought to be recommended carefully,” he stated in a statement published by the ACC.

The findings complement previous research studies, a number of which have correlated both polyunsaturated and high-carbohydrate diets with a greater probability of death. While previous research studies indicated that this part of the diet affected the outcome measures found, the research study itself didn’t determine these findings. “Low carbohydrate diets have been associated with greater risk of developing AFib irrespective of the type of fat or protein utilized to substitute the carbohydrate,” Zhuang said.

“Several possible mechanisms could explain why limiting carbohydrates may contribute to AFib,” Zhuang said. One is that individuals eating a low-carbohydrate diet often consume fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Without these foods, individuals may experience more widespread inflammation, which has been connected with AFib. According to the research study, another potential explanation is that eating more fat and protein instead of carbohydrate-rich foods can result in oxidative stress, which has also been connected to AFib. The effect may be associated with an increased risk of other types of cardiovascular disease.

The Longevity Diet Plan, presented in the book by Dr. Valter Longo, eliminates the consumption of processed foods which can cause inflammation, promoting well-being and longevity. While this diet program doesn’t focus on weight loss, the emphasis of the longevity diet plan is on eating healthier. The Longevity Diet Plan has been demonstrated to help activate stem cell-based renewal, reduce abdominal fat, and prevent age-related bone and muscle loss, as well as build resistance to developing cardiovascular disease.

The fasting mimicking diet, or FMD, allows you to experience the benefits of traditional fasting without depriving your body of food. The main difference of the FMD is that instead of completely eliminating all food for several days or even weeks, you only restrict your calorie intake for five days out of the month. The FMD can be practiced once a month to help promote overall health and wellness.

While anyone can follow the FMD on their own, the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet offers a 5-day meal program which has been individually packed and labeled for each day, which serves the foods you need for the FMD in precise quantities and combinations. The meal program is made up of ready-to-eat and easy-to-prepare, plant-based foods, including bars, soups, snacks, supplements, a drink concentrate, and teas. Before starting the ProLon® fasting mimicking diet, 5-day meal program, or any of the lifestyle modifications described above, please make sure to talk to a healthcare professional to find out if this dietary program is right for you.

Furthermore, the research study didn’t monitor participants with asymptomatic AFib, or people who had AFib but were never admitted to a hospital. It didn’t investigate subtypes of AFib, therefore it’s unknown if patients were far more likely to have episodes of persistent or arrhythmia AFib. Zhuang reported that the research study didn’t show cause and effect. A randomized trial could be required to validate the connection between AFib and carbohydrate intake to evaluate the result in a more diverse population.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, spinal health issues, and functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez

Additional Topic Discussion: Acute Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most prevalent causes of disability and missed days at work worldwide. Back pain attributes to the second most common reason for doctor office visits, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Approximately 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at least once throughout their life. Your spine is a complex structure made up of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles, among other soft tissues. Injuries and/or aggravated conditions, such as herniated discs, can eventually lead to symptoms of back pain. Sports injuries or automobile accident injuries are often the most frequent cause of back pain, however, sometimes the simplest of movements can have painful results. Fortunately, alternative treatment options, such as chiropractic care, can help ease back pain through the use of spinal adjustments and manual manipulations, ultimately improving pain relief.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez

Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven Integrative Wellness therapies focused on optimal mobility, posture control, health Instruction, functional fitness, Nutrition, and structural conditioning. In addition, we use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans," Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSHasRx Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor, passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. So join us and make a living with mobility a way of life. Blessings. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, CIFM, IFMCP, ATN

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