The role of diet in reducing cholesterol

Heart, Stroke | June 7, 2014 | Author: The Super Pharmacist

cholesterol, diet, refined

The role of diet in reducing cholesterol

Traditional emphasis on restriction of saturated fat and cholesterol

The national and international dietary recommendations for the prevention of coronary artery disease have focused on restriction of saturated fat and cholesterol.(4) "Eat less saturated fat" - that has been the take-home message for the past 30 years, but during this time, the obesity rate has more than doubled, diabetes has tripled, and heart disease is still the biggest killer.(5) The low-fat campaign has spurred a compensatory increase in the consumption of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. In metabolic studies, low-fat, high carbohydrate diets increase plasma triglycerides (a type of fat that predisposes to cardiovascular disease) and decrease high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" or protective cholesterol). Elevated levels of triglycerides are associated with atherosclerosis (even in the absence of hypercholesterolemia) and predispose to cardiovascular disease.

The role of refined carbohydrates

There are simple and complex carbohydrates. The former consist of the sugars, fruits and sweet vegetables, while the latter contain the starches like breads, cereals, grains, pastas and starchy vegetables. Complex carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules linked together by certain chemical bonds. These complex carbohydrates require an enzyme to break them down for our bodies to utilise them as energy. "Refining" is a process that can apply to simple or complex carbohydrates. It is the act of removing fiber, nutrients, usually water, and other items contained within the food in its natural state. The purpose is usually to improve shelf life or concentrate taste.(6) Refined carbohydrates are processed by the body very quickly, generally causing a high rise in blood sugar. shutterstock_81350266Foods that break down quickly during digestion and release glucose rapidly into the bloodstream are said to have a high glycemic index. Refined carbohydrates include: SWEETENERS: Including white, brown or raw sugar, honey, maple syrup and corn syrup FRUIT JUICE (ok to use small amounts in recipes). Lemon/lime juice are fine. ALL KINDS OF FLOUR. This includes wheat, oat, legume (pea and bean), rice, and corn flours. 100% stoneground, whole meal flours are less refined and not as unhealthy as other types of flours. WHITE RICE/INSTANT RICE/POLISHED RICE INSTANT OATMEAL and other INSTANT/REFINED CEREALS and INSTANT GRAINS CORN STARCH, MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, POTATO STARCH– and any ingredient with the word “starch” in it MALTODEXTRIN and DEXTRIN SWEET WINES AND LIQEUERS HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX FRUITS: Watermelon Canteloupe Pineapple HIGH GLYCEMIC INDEX VEGETABLES: White potato Parsnip Beets Carrots DRIED FRUITS (even if unsweetened)

What Are the Dangers of High Cholesterol?

Coronary artery disease remains the number one cause of death for both men and women in developed countries. By age 40, almost half of men and almost one third of women are at risk of coronary heart disease according to the Framingham Heart Study.(1) Coronary artery disease and stroke are the first and fourth most common causes of mortality and morbidity globally, respectively.(2) Therefore, prevention of cardiovascular disease by treating hypercholesterolemia (elevated blood cholesterol levels) among other risk factors is an important step in reducing coronary morbidity and mortality.(3)
  1. Lloyd-Jones DM, Larson MG, Beiser A, Levy D. Lifetime risk of developing coronary heart disease. Lancet 353(9147), 89–92 (1999).
  2. Duvall WL, Vorchheimer DA. Multi-bed vascular disease and atherothrombosis: scope of the problem. J. Thromb. Thrombolysis 17(1), 51–61 (2004).
  3. The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial results. I. Reduction in incidence of coronary heart disease. JAMA 251(3), 351–364 (1984).
  4. Hu FB, Willett WC. Optimal diets for prevention of coronary heart disease. JAMA2002;288:2569–78.
  5. Moyer, MW. Carbs against cardio: more evidence that refined carbohydrates, not fats, threaten the heart. Scientific American Apr 1, 2010. Accessed 1 June 2014
  6. Spreen, Dr. Allan.  Refined vs. Unrefined Carbohydrates. How Stuff  Published 21 July 2010. Accessed 1 June 2014.
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