Scientists at the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) at McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences believe that a diet high in low-quality carbohydrates increases the risks of stroke, heart attack and premature death.
Observations of 137,851 people aged 35 to 70 were conducted for an average of 9.5 years as part of the Population Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. Scientists used questionnaires to analyze food preferences of project participants in the long term, as well as to assess the glycemic index (GI, ranking of foods depending on how they affect blood sugar levels) and glycemic load (the amount of carbohydrates in food multiplied by her GI). During the observation period, 8,780 people died and 8,252 people had serious cardiovascular events (heart attack, stroke, etc.).
Calculations showed that those 20% of the project participants who had the highest nutritional GI were 50% more likely to suffer from heart attacks, strokes, and also died prematurely if they already had heart disease. If initially they did not have heart and vascular diseases, then a sweet diet with a high GI increased these risks by 20%. The likelihood of stroke, heart attack and death was further increased by obesity.