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High-Glycemic Index Foods Increase Heart Disease Risk For Women

April 12, 2010: 08:52 AM EST
Eating carbohydrate-packed foods with a high glycemic index (GI) (e.g., bread, breakfast cereals, doughnuts, etc.) magnifies the risk of coronary heart disease among women, but not men, new research from Italy has found. Looking at data from nearly 48,000 adults, the researchers found that women whose diet had the highest glycemic load were more than twice as likely to develop heart disease. The carbohydrates in low GI foods like vegetables take longer to enter the bloodstream. High GI foods, however, affect blood glucose levels quickly, boosting levels of harmful triglycerides and lowering levels of protective HDL or “good” cholesterol. The researchers suggested that further research is needed to first verify that a high glycemic diet is less dangerous for men than for women, and then to discover why.
Sabina Sieri, Ph.D., Vittorio Krogh, M.D., MS, et al., "Dietary Glycemic Load and Index and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in a Large Italian Cohort", Archives of Internal Medicine, April 12, 2010, © American Medical Association
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