Heart & Cardiology/Low fat diet

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Question
Doctor
I am 56. I am moderately overweight, and I have hypertension treated with Avalide. No history of heart disease in my family.
I have always had a 'fat tooth', and probably consumed more fat than most people, including dairy. My excuse was I was following a low carb diet. Funny but I could never lose weight on it.
I recently lost two friends to heart attacks, They were the same age as me, both were physically active and not particularly overweight, both were ex smokers. Like me, they both liked their bacon and eggs, pizza, etc.
The internet has so much conflicting information, and whenever I google low fat diet, the benefits of a low carb diet come up including being more beneficial to heart health?
In your experiance, will switching to a low fat diet reduce my chances of suffering heart related problems in the future? Also, will it reduce plaque buildup or any other factors I may have now?
By counting calories very strictly and consuming as little fat as possible, I have begun to see the scale move down a bit.
Thanks!

Answer
Hi, http://myheart.net/articles/low-carb-diets-and-cholesterol-levels-when-high-fat-

This is a very interesting question, and there have been conflicting recommendations over the years. Read the article i linked, i wrote that a while ago to try tackle this topic.

The most recent trend has been towards low carb diets. I personally recommend my patients limit carbs as that has been shown to have favorable effects on cholesterol profiles. For years it was considered that fat was the enemy, however there is shifting of thought now to realize a lot of the harm is associated with processed food and carbs.

In terms of reducing plaque build up the best we can do is to extrapolate from data where cholesterol is used as a surrogate.   I would say if you are following a low carb diet then thats reasonable terms of stabilizing your lipid profile, If you aren't, then i would advise limiting fat intake as the insulin released from the carbs will result in a state where surplus calories are more likely to be converted in to fat and there can be a higher chance of derangement of your lipid profile.

as always, see a physician, have your risk factors assessed and pay attention to modifying, cholesterol, exercise, diabetes, smoking etc..

Its a somewhat confusing topic, but hope that was helpful.

Heart & Cardiology

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Mustafa Ahmed MD

Expertise

Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Hypertension, Pulmonary Embolism, Structural and Valve Disease

Experience

Board Certification Internal Medicine and Cardiology Interventional and Structural Cardiology

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http://blog.myheart.net

Publications
Multiple Publications In High Quality Peer Reviewed Journals. Internationally Recognized.

Education/Credentials
MD from The Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Research Training - University of Alabama

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