Carbohydrates and their Role in Cardiovascular Diseases

Carbohydrates and CVDs

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death. Poor diet is recognized as both an independent CVD risk factor and a contributor to other CVD risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus (DM), hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

Research found that in middle-aged Australian women, increasing the percentage of carbohydrate intake was significantly associated with reduced odds of CVD, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity.

Types of Healthy Carbohydrates

The nature of carbohydrate is of considerable importance when recommending diets intended to reduce the risk of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease and in the treatment of patients who already have established diseases. 

Complex Carbs

Wholegrains have an array of cardioprotective properties as they are rich sources of dietary fibre, antoxidants and essential fatty acids.

Fruits and vegetables are important sources of carbohydrate and also contain a range of potentially cardioprotective components, including dietary fibre, folate, potassium, flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins. 

Legumes are rich in viscous (soluble) forms of NSP and dietary fibre are associated with reduced LDL cholesterol.

Dietary fibre has a potentially important effect on lipids and lipoproteins when consumed in plant foods or as supplements Viscous subgroups, including pectins, β-glucans, glucomannans, guar and psyllium, which are generally water soluble, all lower total and LDL cholesterol.

In summary, prospective epidemiological studies provide strong evidence for a protective role of wholegrain cereals, fruits and vegetables characterized by relatively high consumption of dietary fibre is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Author: Pallabi Sinha

I am a Nutritionist with 6 years of expertise in the field. I have a knack of convincing people to switch to a healthier lifestyle.