Carbs have been linked to cardiovascular disease.
Carbs have been linked to cardiovascular disease. kzenon

Carbs are the enemy, not fat, says Ipswich health expert

AN IPSWICH health expert says carbs are the enemy, not saturated fat, for those wanting to avoid heart problems.

When it comes to cardio vascular disease Brassall-based exercise physiologist Naomi Ferstera has called into question current guidelines around carbs and cardiovascular disease following a controversial new study.

Ms Ferstera, who specialises in chronic disease management including cardiovascular disease (CVD), obesity and diabetes, said the new research showed current guidelines may need to be revised.

Brassall-based exercise physiologist Naomi Ferstera has called into question current guidelines around carbs and cardiovascular disease.
Brassall-based exercise physiologist Naomi Ferstera has called into question current guidelines around carbs and cardiovascular disease.

President of the World Heart Federation professor Salim Yusuf presented the findings of the 'PURE study at a cardiologist conference in Switzerland just last month.

"In one of the most extensive studies of its type, Dr Yusuf found that saturated fat does not increase risk for CVD and instead was potentially protective against the disease but that it was carbohydrates that actually increased the risk for CVD," Ms Ferstera said.

Cardiovascular disease facts:

  • CVD is heart, stroke and blood vessel diseases
  • It kills one Australian every 12 minutes
  • It affects one in six Australians or 4.2 million
  • CVD claimed the lives of 45,392 Australians (nearly 30% of all deaths) in 2015 - deaths that are largely preventable
  • Lower socioeconomic groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and those living in remote areas had the highest rate of hospitalisation and death resulting from CVD in Australia.

"Whilst this research may seem counter-intuitive, it is very important that the public be made aware of it and it should be included in the discussion about our current dietary guidelines.

"My advice to clients dealing with chronic illness is that changing their diet and initiating an exercise regime is a relatively low risk intervention.

"I remind them that they are ultimately responsible for their own health so they need to be educated and informed about the actions they take."

While carbs were found to have a greater link to heart issues than saturated fat, Ms Ferstera said there was a thing as too much fat in the average diet.

"We need to be able to discuss and even debate this kind of information, do further research and potentially new recommendations may need to be made," she said.


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