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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Carbs and Cholesterol

Carbs and Cholesterol

South Asians ate the most carbohydrate and had the lowest HDL cholesterol levels, while Chinese individuals ate the least carbohydrate and had the highest levels of the beneficial blood fat, Dr. Anwar T. Merchant of the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario and colleagues found.

Each additional 100 gram per day of carbohydrates was tied to a 0.15 mmol/L drop in HDL cholesterol. Triacylglycerol levels also rose in tandem with carbohydrate intake.

The researchers also found that consuming more sugar-sweetened soft drinks, juices and snacks was tied to a lower HDL level.

Interesting findings, but not all that surprising for those that don't believe in the "high fat equals high cholesterol" dogma. As I've mentioned before, cholesterol is not the danger, but it may signal that the body is trying to protect itself from something. In this case, a higher intake of carbohydrates results in a higher output of insulin and higher blood sugar. Both of these things damage arteries, resulting in a need for cholesterol to patch the holes. Cholesterol is the ambulance at the scene of a crash, taking the blame for the carnage.