Health professionals are divided over whether to recommend certain foods for those suffering from heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and a study published in the British Medical Journal suggests that some of them may not be safe.
Dr Mark D’Aloisio from the University of Bristol, who led the study, said he and his colleagues had been studying the health effects of dietary carbohydrates in the United Kingdom for two decades and were surprised to see the “unusual” results.
“People are really surprised to find out that there is a correlation with the consumption of carbohydrate, but I think they are just being more cautious about it,” he said.
“We have never seen a correlation in the literature before and I think we are still very cautious.”
The researchers analysed the dietary habits of about 1,000 people who were recruited from the general population, people aged between 18 and 79 and those with chronic heart disease.
“When we looked at the dietary data, we found that carbohydrate consumption was not related to heart disease,” Dr D’Arisio said.
“There was no association between carbohydrate consumption and diabetes.”
“But it was related to obesity and obesity was associated with diabetes, so that is a bit of a clue that you could eat a lot of carbohydrate and you could be more likely to have diabetes.”
Dr D’Aroisio said the study did not address whether the link between carbohydrate intake and diabetes was causal, but said it did raise questions.
“I don’t think it’s that people are choosing to be overweight or obese,” he told BBC Breakfast.
“But the question that is open to us is whether or not they are choosing the carbohydrate that is associated with obesity and diabetes.”
There may be other things that are associated with these factors that are not carbohydrate, that could be related to the diet.
“The study has been published in British Medical Association Journal.
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