Carbohydrates can be the cause of High Cholesterol

Low Fat Diets are not the only solution to consider for High Cholesterol. Are you a Carb-fiend?

Some people think that a high cholesterol reading must be because of a high-fat diet.  A high fat or high calorie diet raises cholesterol in some people but excess sugars or carbohydrates also can produce high cholesterol and high fat readings.

Carbohydrates include sweets, sugary drinks, sugary breakfast cereals, breads, baked goods, pasta, rice, alcohol , fruit and fruit juice. Wholegrains are a healthier choice of carb but portion sizes are crucial. Carbs are very easy to eat. They are sweet and in my experience they are the foods most people tend to over-eat, particularly when snacking. Lets have a look at how our body handles carbohydrates.

What does our body do with Carb?

At any one time, our body tightly controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood to 5g, which is just 1 teaspoon, because higher levels damage compounds in the blood. The remainder of the glucose we eat is stored as glycogen (glucose + water) in the liver and muscles. The muscles and liver can only store 520g of so of glycogen and they fill quickly if you are a carb-fiend!

Therefore if you are eating more carbohydrate than the body needs, not moving much during the day, it has to get stored as fat. Insulin sends excess glucose to fat stores using an enzyme called lipoprotein Lipase which converts the glucose to fat (Triglyceride). Excess glucose can be converted by the liver into cholesterol called VLDL’s which are pumped out of the liver into your bloodstream to be stored as fat. If your fat intake is also high, this is added pressure. High Triglycerides, high VLDL’s, high LDL’s and low HDL’s are a warning that your liver is struggling to cope with your diet.

Fat cells have no storage limitation and keep getting bigger and bigger. When the liver is struggling to cope with the workload of your lifestyle (drugs, alcohol, stress, excess kcalories, pollution, virus etc) VLDL readings can decline and the liver becomes fatty, storing the fat like a force-fed goose.  This is called non-alcohol fatty liver disease.

I offer 2 food plans, a Low Carb-High Fat diet and a Low Fat-High Protein diet. I also offer a plain old-fashioned calorie-controlled diet. I change clients between diets to find the best solution for them. The key ingredient is the APP. Monitor everything you eat on the APP and you will quickly find out if you are a carb-fiend. Its a revelation, well it was to me at least.

Sometimes there are genetic / inherited factors that influence a person’s blood sugars and blood lipids levels and in these non-diet and non-lifestyle affected cases, medications can be life-saving. A healthy lifestyle is likely to create a lower amount/dosage of meds needed.

Joan Moloney specialises in Weight-Loss Nutrition. Call her if you have an enquiry 086 316 7041 Ireland.

One Comment

  1. Stephen C-Reply
    May 9, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    I have been struggling with high cholesterol for over 10 years after my primary care physician sounded the alarm (396 total about 12 years ago). I stopped taking statin drugs about 3 years ago because of elevated liver enzymes and saw my number rise. Then 2 years ago I received a stent in my right coronary artery, (95% blocked) and my cardiologist put me on Crestor every other day and now my levels are at 198 total. My diet consist of mostly fish and chicken but I due eat a lot of whole grain bread and an occasional sugar products. After researching articles like yours I am thinking about stopping eating grains/sugar all together in an attempt to lower my numbers. What is your suggestion because I am at a loss. All my doctors say my primary cause of the high numbers is mostly hereditary.

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