I don’t know why the medical community keeps pushing the low fat diets to modify blood lipids. The medical literature shows that a low fat, high carbohydrate diet (more than 50 grams of starch/sugar in a meal) produces high triglycerides, and a low carb diet ( less than 50 grams per meal), regardless of saturated fats and meat, produces lower triglycerides.
In seems reasonable that fats in the diet should mean fats, triglycerides, in the blood, but that ain’t so. It’s the rise in blood insulin in response to a rise in blood sugar due to high glycemic index foods in a meal, that yields high blood triglycerides.
The low carb, low triglycerides facts of life were brought to may attention by my wife’s blood chemistry. She knows better, but refuses to follow my preacherly suggestions about an anti-inflammatory diet. She follows most of the use of supplements and prohibitions about vegetable oils, but loves carbs. She eats two thick slices of bread in a sandwich and I cut a thinner slice and eat mine open-faced. I can’t eat her pancakes or French toast. Ok, I eat lots of dark chocolate, but I don’t have flavored syrup in my lattes.
She was stressed by a high triglycerides (292 mg/dl) in her blood work and her doctor wanted to start her on meds. I was sympathetic. Not really. I actually said, “carbs, carbs, carbs,” until she threatened me. I nagged heavily to just junk the junk and wait on the meds. She started counting grams of carbs with each meal. Actually she tried to average over the whole day, I nagged, she finally relented and stuck to the plan. No more than 50 grams of carbs in any meal. (I think 30 grams, would actually be better.)
One month later, her blood work showed triglycerides down 57% to 127 mg/dl. Individual results may vary, but this is pretty straightforward. Carbs are important -- avoid them. The food pyramid is for chumps. The highest glycemic food you will encounter is a French baguette (95), compared to pastas in the 30s or table sugar at 70.
The facts are:
- Saturated fats in meat are no big deal, and much better than...
- Vegetable oils (most are rich in omega-6 oils, except olive oil) are inflammatory.
- Fish oil (omega-3 DHA/EPA) is anti-inflammatory (unless there is also too much vegetable oil.)
- Starch and sugar increase blood triglycerides and are only needed to gain or keep body fat. Losing weight is much easier without starch/sugar.
- Most people are deficient in vitamin D and C (even with plenty of solar exposure).
- High fructose corn syrup is ten times more damaging than starch/sugar, and is especially bad for diabetics. It doesn’t raise blood sugar as much as starch, it just causes damage, e.g. glycation, at an extraordinarily high rate. It also ages skin by accelerating cross-linking of collagen. Very bad stuff even in fruit juices.
- Eating plant anti-oxidants protects unsaturated fats as they pass through the oxidizing environment of the stomach, so nuts are better unroasted and eaten with veggies.