Do Low Carb Diets Cause Atrial Fibrillation?

A study was released this week that indicated the potential link of low carbohydrate diets and the development of atrial fibrillation. “Afib” is an abnormal heart rhythm that produces a fast, irregular rate that can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and palpitations.

The study looked at 14,000 people over a 20-year period. Those people that ate less than 45 % of their calories as carbohydrates had an 18% increase risk of developing afib than those people eating more than 45% of their calories as carbs.

Now, before all of you abandon a high protein/low carbohydrate dietary approach, PLEASE take the time to thoroughly evaluate the study. Were the people entering the study stratified to ensure that there were equal numbers of diabetics/prediabetics in each group? Equal numbers of obese people in each study group? Alcohol intake the same? There are MANY other risk factors for developing afib and it is VERY important to have the results of this study analyzed to account for the multiple other risk factors involved.

Poor weight control leads to: diabetes, heart disease, cancers, chronic pain, sleep apnea, early death and a bunch of other serious stuff. The “ticket” to weight control is a high protein/low carbohydrate dietary approach. We do not recommend NO carbs forever, but certainly a low carb approach is needed for long-term weight control. The benefits of weight control FAR exceed a questionable risk of developing a treatable heart rhythm issue.

Posner’s opinion pending further analysis of this study: Do NOT abandon the high protein/low carb approach and use this widely publicized study as some excuse to start devouring carbs. Your success in controlling weight will bring a great number of benefits.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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