Women who eat lots of high glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates are more vulnerable to developing cardiovascular diseases in the long run, a new study says.
GI is an indicator of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Low GI foods such as beans, lentils and nuts, hence, release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly, making the individual feel 'fuller' for a longer time.
White bread, doughnuts, rice, ice-cream and refined breakfast cereals, such as cornflakes, are classified as high GI foods.
According to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women eating the most carbohydrates overall are at a double risk of heart disease; 25 percent of women belong to this group.
"A high consumption of carbohydrates from high glycemic index foods, rather than the overall quantity of carbohydrates consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing coronary heart disease," said lead researcher Sabina Sieri.
Such an association, however, was not reported in men. The difference in the underlying mechanism through which women and men break down and absorb sugars and fats is the main reason behind the finding.
"We tentatively suggest that the adverse effects of a high glycemic diet in women are mediated by sex-related differences … but further prospective studies are required to verify a lack of association of a high dietary glycemic load with (heart) disease in men," scientists concluded.