Skinny Daily Post


A new report from the Nurses Health Study, a long-term observational study out of Harvard, concluded that low-carb diets aren’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. In fact, eating a diet higher in animal protein and animal fat didn’t seem to significantly affect cardiovascular risk. And, cardiovascular risk was significantly decreased among women with a high intake of vegetable protein and vegetable fat.

Remember all the talk about the glycemic index, which leads to the discussion of good carbs/bad carbs? The study reported that

A higher glycemic load was strongly associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (relative risk comparing highest and lowest deciles, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.15 to 3.15; P for trend=0.003).

I had to quote that data. It means, basically, that the more processed the carb, the higher the heart disease risk.

And another interesting point is that these women were actually slightly overweight at the start of the study, and gained about another 10% of their weight over the years. So, these women weren’t necessarily on a weight-loss mission [although, I suspect that, like so many of us, they were trying to control their weight, but weren’t always successful].

Now, let’s be honest here. There are some limitations of this study, including the fact that the population consists almost exclusively of middle-aged and older women, and we have no idea just how honest they were in their surveys. So, we don’t know if this applies to children or to men. However, as we middle-aged women try to manage our weight by whatever means possible, perhaps we’re not doing as much damage to our bodies as we thought by watching the carb intake.

My take-away from this is that what I’ve been trying to do – higher protein, good quality carbs, more olive oil than butter – makes sense, at least in terms of taking care of my heart. I’m not doing it perfectly [chocolate cake last night, although maybe I shouldn’t admit it?], but I’m working on it.

As for eating to lose weight or to maintain my weight, well, one more time – let’s say it together – portion control, exercise.

5 thoughts on “Carbs and middle aged women

  1. Rachel says:

    You may also be interested in the slightly different results released recently by danish researchers.

    ‘A new study appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition today showing that people who ate the most protein, especially animal protein, had the least abdominal obesity.

    Danish researchers studied 22,570 woman and 20,126 men aged 50-64 years for five years to determine changes in waist circumference as a function of macronutrient intake.’

  2. Zentient says:

    I have a silly aversion to diet words – I have switched to saying, “eat just enough, move more”.


  3. Lee says:

    Patience and persistenc, not perfection.

  4. m.a. says:

    first you say i am middle aged.

    then you say i have to limit butter.

    next you’ll be telling me my roots are showing.

    oh, wait, they already are.

    i feel like a bird just crapped on me.

    pass the cake.

  5. chrissie barclay says:

    you really made me laugh out loud “m.a.” (Nov 10th) I am 60 (going on 17) and I’ve been “watching my weight” since I was 15 years old. I’m into damage limitation now and feel that for my age I’m not doing too bad. But, oh, the stuff I’ve read and believed and then found to be untrue in all those years. At least I know I’m not alone and that I can still laugh. I would not miss Skinny Daily for anything – it’s a life saver. Many thanks.

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