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Constipation is one of the most common problems that people face, with between 2 and 28% of the population in Western countries reporting having this [1-3]. In 2007 in the United States, 19.4% of people reported problems with chronic constipation[4] and in Canada between 15% and 27% of people reported having sought health care support for chronic constipation in 2001 [5].

Defining Constipation

The term “constipation” means different things to different people. For some it simply means they don’t pass their stools (feces) often enough, and for others it means that when they do, their stools are hard, difficult to pass, may cause lower abdominal discomfort, or feel like they “still have to go” afterwards (incomplete evacuation).

What is considered a ‘normal range’ in the number of bowel movements per week varies considerably; from anywhere from 3 – 21 times per week, provided the stools are soft and easy to pass, but not loose or unformed. For some people, having bowel movements 3 times per week may be normal, as long as their stools aren’t hard, dry or compact and there is no abdominal discomfort. For others, 3 times per day (21 times per week) may also be considered fine, provided the stools aren’t unusually loose.

There are many factors that can contribute to chronic constipation; including some medications that people take, inadequate fiber or the wrong kind of fiber, insufficient hydration (not drinking enough water, especially when its hotter out, or exercising), high levels of estrogen and progesterone when a woman is pregnant, or disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diverticulosis.

The Causes of Chronic Constipation

People often think (or are told) that if they are constipated, they just need to eat more fiber, but in some cases increasing fiber from certain sources such as grains may make the problem worse. For example, some people are wheat sensitive, but not gluten-intolerant (i.e. not Celiac). That is, they are sensitive to wheat only, but not rye or barley (which also contain gluten).  Others have something called non-celiac gluten sensitivity which resolves when gluten is eliminated from the diet, yet don’t test positive for Celiac disease. These people feel better when they avoid grain-based carbs, and may opt instead for eating nutritiously-dense starchy vegetables, such as winter squash or yam, for instance. Since a low-carb diet is non-grain-based, people who experience chronic constipation due to wheat intolerance or non-celiac gluten sensitivity will start to feel considerably better eating this way. The problem may be that for those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, other sources of gluten, such as those found in malt vinegar or low carb beer may continue to cause them symptoms.

Many people who try a “low-carb” or “keto” diet on their own often complain of being constipated and this may be for a number of other reasons.  They may be taking a medication that causes constipation as a side-effect, they may not don’t drink enough water, or it may be the result of something else.

Inadequate Hydration

I would estimate that ~80% of the people that I assess in my office have observable signs that they are aren’t drinking enough water, so this is something I would recommend most people to consider as a possible contributor to chronic constipation.

The idea that everybody needs to drink “8 glass of water per day” is a fallacy; everyone’s need for water is different. A good rule of thumb to know if you are dehydrated is just to look in the mirror. If your lips are dry and wrinkled, then you probably should aim to increase your water intake. When your lips are plump and without deep lines, you’ve probably had sufficient amount. Water is best, as coffee and tea act as a mild diuretic. They won’t dehydrate you, but you will pass the water contained in them more rapidly. “Keto water” which is water with a pinch of half-salt for electrolytes (i.e. a source of sodium and potassium) can be helpful, provided you’re not taking medications such as ACE-inhibitors (e.g. Ramipril) for blood pressure, or any other medications where potassium may be limited.

If you don’t really like plain water, a Sodastream® that enables you to make carbonated water at home may be the answer. My clients know that there is always a bottle of it on my desk, as that is how I make sure to drink enough water. A twist of lime or lemon makes a nice treat too!

What about Getting Enough Fiber?

In Canada, dietary recommendations  for dietary fiber intake varies with age and gender. Men under the age of 50 years are recommended to take in 38 gm / day of dietary fiber, and men over 50 years to take in 30 gm / day. Women under 50 years old are recommended to take in 25 gm of fiber per day and over 50 years, 21 gm per day [6].

In the US, fiber intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine range from 19 grams to 38 grams per day, depending on gender and age [7].

While people generally think of “healthy whole grains” as good sources of fiber, many are not. For example, medium grain brown rice only has 3.4 g of fiber per 100 g, whereas wild rice (which is actually a grass and not a grain) has 6.2 g of fiber per 100 g [8]. Many vegetables and fruit such as avocado and berries are excellent sources of fiber. More on that below.

Two Kinds of Fiber – soluble and insoluble

There are two kinds of fiber; insoluble and soluble.

Insoluble fiber is what most people think about when they think of “roughage” needed to form stool and prevent constipation. It helps form the bulk of the stool. Insoluble fiber is naturally present in the outside of grains, such as whole grain wheat and the outside of oats and is also found in fruit, legumes (or pulses) such as dried beans, lentils, or peas, some vegetables, and in nuts and seeds. Many of these are eaten on a low carb diet and can provide the recommended amount of fiber (more on that below).

Soluble fiber forms a ‘gel’ in the intestine and binds with fatty acids. It slows stomach emptying and helps to make people feel fuller for longer, as well as slow the rate that blood sugar rises, after eating. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the gut, and helps to form a pliable stool. Soluble fiber is found on the inside of certain grains, such as oats, chia seeds or psyillium, as well as the inside of certain kinds of fruit, such as apple and pear.

For those eating a low carb diet, getting enough fiber is not that difficult. Here are a few examples of the fiber content of foods that can be eaten;

  • Avocado – Surprisingly, avocado which is an excellent source of vegetable fat, is also high in fiber, having more than 10 gm fiber per cup (250 ml). Avocado grown in Florida which are the bright green, smooth-skinned variety have more insoluble fiber than California avocado, which are the smaller, darker green, dimpled variety.
  • Berries – Berries such as blackberries and raspberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, but also have 8 gm fiber per cup (250 ml).
  • Coconut – Fresh coconut meat has 6 gm of net carbs per 100 grams of coconut, but also packs a whopping 9 gms of fiber and is a very rich source of fat (33 gms per 100 gm coconut). It can be purchased peeled, grated and sold frozen in many ethnic stores or in the ethnic section of regular grocery stores.
  • Artichoke – Artichoke is a low-carbohydrate vegetable that is delicious boiled and it’s leaves dipped in seasoned butter. Surprisingly, one medium artichoke has over 10 gm of fiber.
  • Okra – Okra, or ‘lady fingers’ is a staple vegetable in the South Asian diet and is commonly eaten in the Southern US. Just one cup of okra contains more than 8 gm of fiber.
  • Brussels Sprouts – These low-carb cruciferous vegetables are not just for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  Split and grilled on the BBQ with garlic, they are a sweet, nutty addition to any meal, packing almost 8 gm of fiber per cup.
  • Turnip – Turnip, the small white vegetable with a hint of purple is not to be confused with the pale beige, larger rutabaga. Turnip contains almost 10 gm of fiber per cup. It is delicious pickled with salt and one beet and is commonly eaten with Middle Eastern food.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Diverticulosis

Unfortunately, in addition to the fact that 20-30% of people in the US and Canada experience chronic constipation, approximately 10-15% of the population have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) [9].

IBS is a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract  ⁠— which means there is no structural or biological abnormality that can be measured on routine diagnostic tests. These people often experience chronic constipation, sometimes alternating with bouts of diarrhea, as often experience abdominal pain and bloating, as well. You can read more about IBS here. As mentioned in the linked article, many people with IBS feel considerably better when they adopt a low-carb diet because they are no longer eating many of the foods that underlie their symptoms such as grains, milk and fruit, other than berries. Unfortunately, even after adopting a low carb diet about 15- 20% of those diagnosed with IBS still have residual symptoms. In my affiliate practice, I have years of experiencing working with those with IBS and offer a specialized package, as well as a one-hour teaching session that can help.

Another common problem is diverticulosis, which an estimated 50% of those over 50 years of age have. Diverticulosis is where your colon (large intestine) has small “pockets” in it called diverticula, which can cause a number of symptoms including chronic constipation. Like those with IBS, many people with diverticulosis feel much better when they adopt a low-carb diet because they are no longer eating foods such as wheat, dairy products with lactose or high fructose fruit that used to contribute to their symptoms. The problem is that many of the low carb vegetables that are low in carbs and may be rich in fiber also may be contributing to their symptoms. So many of my clients have recently been diagnosed with diverticulosis, that in my affiliate practice I recently added a one-hour teaching session that can be added to the end of a Complete Assessment Package, or taken as a stand-alone session to help.

Final Thoughts

In trouble-shooting constipation, I recommend that people ensure they are adequately hydrated, and that they remember to drink extra water when it’s hot out or when they’ve been ill.

Eating wide variety of low-carb veggies, including those listed above that are known to be high in fiber is also good. For those on a moderate low-carb diet (not a ketogenic diet), small amounts of yam or winter squash are other ways to get added nutrients and fiber.

Berries are a wonderful source of nutrients and anti-oxidants, can be enjoyed by those on a low-carb diet and are a wonderful source of fiber! Strawberries have 3g of fiber per cup and blackberries and raspberries have a whopping 8 g of fiber per cup, with blueberries paling in comparison with a mere 2.4 g of fiber (and are higher in carbs, too).

Of course, exercise as simple as a daily walk can often help people move their bowels and many people swear by their morning cup of coffee!

For those doing all of the things above and still experiencing chronic constipation, it may be time to rule out other possible causes such as Celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, IBS, or diverticulosis.

I can help.

More Info?

If you would like more information about how I can help in this regard, please visit my affiliate practice, BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd. where you can find a number of services that I offer related to Food Sensitivities / Food Allergies, Celiac Disease, IBS and Diverticulosis.

If you have questions please feel free to send me a note there or here using the Contact Me form, and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Higgins PDR, Johanson JF, Epidemiology of constipation in North America: a systematic review, The American Journal of Gastroenterology 99(4); 750–759, 2004.
  2. Corazziari E, Definition and epidemiology of functional gastrointestinal disorders, Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology, 18 (4); 613–631, 2004. 
  3. Harris LA, Prevalence and ramifications of chronic constipation, Managed Care Interface, 18 (8); 23–30, 2005.
  4. Johanson JF,  Kralstein J, Chronic constipation: a survey of the patient perspective, Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 25(5); 599–608, 2007. 
  5. Pare P, Ferrazzi S, Thompson WG et al, An epidemiological survey of constipation in Canada: definitions, rates, demographics, and predictors of health care seeking, The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 96(11); 3130–3137, 2001.
  6. Health Canada, Fiber, https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/ services/ nutrients/fibre.html
  7. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2005
  8. Source: US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2014. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 27. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl.
  9. Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD),  https://www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs/statistics.html

The post Trouble-shooting Chronic Constipation on a Low Carb Diet appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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Quite a few physicians that I know that recommend a low-carb diet to their patients have mentioned to me that those who had previously been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and who suffered for years reported significant improvements within a short time of adopting the dietary changes and have asked me why. That is the topic of this article.

Prior to expanding my Dietetic practice to include this low carb division a little over 4 years ago, my main focus was on helping people who were dealing with food allergies and food sensitivities; including Celiac disease, Mast Cell activation disorder (MCAD) / histamine intolerance, fructose intolerance and Irritable Bowel Syndrome  For many of my clients, it was the gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms that caused them to seek out my help in the first place.

What is IBS?

I have often thought of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as the diagnosis that people receive when all the other possible options have been ruled out. For the most part, by the time people are told that they have IBS, they already know for sure that they don’t have Celiac disease or inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s, and they don’t have diverticulosis ⁠—as each of those diagnoses are confirmed after a colonoscopy and/or a biopsy, and are often supported with underlying blood test results.

What makes IBS different is that it is a functional GI disorder ⁠— which means there is no structural or biological abnormality that can be measured on routine diagnostic tests.

Of course a person experiencing  a bout of diarrhea or constipation, or abdominal pain does not mean that person has a GI disorder or disease. Those symptoms could be the result of a virus, bacteria, food-borne illness (“food poisoning”) or food sensitivities. Once these have been ruled out, if the symptoms recur over and over again over time, then investigation as to what else it could be is often begun.

How is IBS Diagnosed?

While many of the symptoms of IBS and Celiac disease can be quite similar, including diarrhea and abdominal pain and bloating, there are very specific indicators that a person may have Celiac disease that clinicians such as myself notice as evidence to request further testing. The first stage in ruling out Celiac disease is an ordinary blood test looking for an antibody to gluten. If that comes back positive, then the person is referred to a Gastroenterologist for an endoscopy. If the blood test is negative, the next step may be for the person to be scheduled for a colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy which is where the inside of the large intestine (colon) is examined using a flexible probe about 1/2″ in diameter that’s fitted with a light and telescopic camera at one end and endoscopy is where a fine, flexible probe fitted with a light and telescopic camera is inserted via the mouth to view the esophagus, stomach and the upper part of the small intestine.

Celiac disease will be ruled out or confirmed using endoscopy, as the upper small intestine is where the damage to the villi (little hair-like projections on the wall that increase the surface area in order to help absorb nutrients from food) will be visible, or not.

A colonoscopy enables the Gastroenterologist to see what the lining of walls of the colon look like and to look for physiological signs of diverticulosis (little bulges or “pouches” in the colon) or signs of inflammation and damage consistent with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), such as Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s and to rule out colon cancer.

If the endoscopy and colonscopy come back normal, the person is often told that their symptoms of diarrhea or constipation (or both alternating), flatulence (“gas”), bloating, abdominal pain or cramping, mucous in the stool is Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

Prevalence of IBS

According to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), approximately 10-15% of the population have IBS; with 40% having a mild form, 35% having a moderate form, and 25% having severe IBS. While many people think of IBS as being a woman’s health issue, 35% to 40%  of people with IBS are men and 60-65% are women [1].

IBS is so common, that it is estimated that 12% of all visits to primary care providers (family doctors) is related to symptoms of IBS [1].

Treatment Options

Once a person receives a diagnosis of IBS the first question that is often asked is “now what?”

Physicians will sometimes suggest their patients try following a “low-FODMAP diet” but since IBS is so common, there are many different diets called by this name that differ significantly. Even if the doctor provides guidance as to which low-FODMAP diet they should follow, people often eliminate a whole host of foods and wind up eating a very limited diet, with no way of knowing which food they stopped eating actually helped.

Since I’ve been in practice in B.C (almost a dozen years), I have helped people troubleshoot which foods and beverages underlie their IBS symptoms using a systematic method that I developed, so that we can determine which changes were effective (you can read more about on that at my affiliate website by clicking here). Once we’ve determined which foods are making them feel unwell, then there are two options that I offer.  (1) Most people choose to go on to take a Complete Assessment Package and have me assess their nutrition status and design a Meal Plan for them, around the foods they can eat without symptoms — while ensuring optimal nutrition. (2) Others will choose to simply avoid the foods that make them feel unwell and carry on eating the same way as they always have.

Why Eating a Low-Carbohydrate Diet often Improves IBS Symptoms?

A low-FODMAP diet eliminates sources of very specific carbohydrates that are fermented by the gut bacteria and that result in the increased gas production that underlies the classic IBS symptoms of abdominal pain and bloating, and the water flooding into the intestine in response to these fermented carbohydrates is what causes the very common symptom of diarrhea. The constipation results when the contractions of the colon are impaired, resulting in the stool sitting longer in the colon resulting in more and more of the water being re-absorbed.

When people eat a low-carb diet, they either eliminate or greatly reduce sources of fructose (the sugar found in fruit and many processed foods, especially processed condiments like ketchup) and significantly reduce one of the key sources of fructans (inulin) found in wheat; which is a highly fermentable carbohydrate. Galactans, another fermentable carbohydrate found in beans, lentils and legumes such as soy is also eliminated or greatly reduced — which is why people with IBS feel so much better after beginning eating a low-carb diet!

Before I taught a low-carbohydrate approach, I used to have people take the IBS Package before the Complete Assessment Package, so we could find out what foods underlie their unpleasant symptoms and eliminate them before I designed their Meal Plan. Now, if they are planning to adopt a lower carb lifestyle anyway, then I recommend they don’t take the IBS Package, as it may not be necessary.  I recommend focus on them adopting a diet that greatly reduces the sources of the fermentable carbohydrates mentioned above, plus a few more that I tell them about and see how they feel. If their symptoms are gone, then there is no reason for them to take the IBS Package!  If however, they are feeling quite a bit better, but still have residual symptoms, then I suggest they take the IBS Package so that we can systematically determine what other non-FODMAP foods are contributing to them feeling unwell.

More Info?

If you would like more information about the IBS Package, you can find that under Services tab of my affiliate website, BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd. and if you’re nterested in the low-FODMAP teaching, you can find that in the Shop on that site.

Of course, if you have questions please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above, and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchf-rd/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References

Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD),  https://www.aboutibs.org/facts-about-ibs/statistics.html

The post What is IBS and Why Do Symptoms Improve on a Low Carb Diet? appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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An analysis was published last week in the British Medical Journal which raised several important concerns about the World Health Organization (WHO)’s draft guidelines on fatty acids; including saturated fat.

The international group of 16 nutrition experts who wrote the paper are concerned as “many governments consider the WHO dietary guidelines to be state of the art evidence, translating them into regional and national dietary guidelines” [1].

In fact, this is exactly the case in Canada. The new Canada Food Guide that was just released on January 22, 2019 relied extensively on the WHO’s 2017 Guidelines for it’s policy regarding decreasing dietary saturated fatty acids (SFA), as indicated by the table below from pg. 5 of Health Canada’s Interim Evidence Update 2018 [2]. 

Pg 5 Health Canada’s Interim Evidence Update 2018 [2]Regarding the significance of the WHO Guidelines, the authors wrote:

“These guidelines have potential health implications for billions of people, so the consistency of the science behind such recommendations and the validity of the conclusions are crucial”.

The authors state that the WHO, in their draft guidelines released in May 2018 “excluded some important aspects and studies” concerning evidence linking saturated fat intake and cardiovascular (CVD) risk.

“They [WHO] recommend reducing intake of total saturated fatty acids to less than 10% of total energy consumption and replacing with polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat to reduce incidence of cardiovascular disease and related mortality. But this fails to take into account considerable evidence that the health effects vary for different saturated fatty acids and that the composition of the food in which they are found is crucially important.”[1]

The authors point out that the composition of the food in which the fatty acid is found has a substantial effect on lipid digestion, absorption, as well as the amount of emulsified fat that is found in the blood after a meal (postprandial lipemia), which “is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.”[1]

The authors point out that recently there have been several meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that found that total saturated fat is NOT associated with coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and all cause mortality (i.e. deaths). In addition they report that a Cochrane analysis found no significant association between reducing saturated fatty acids and total mortality, cardiovascular disease deaths, fatal and non-fatal myocardial infarction (MIs), stroke, coronary heart disease events, and coronary heart disease deaths.

Continued Reliance on Surrogate Endpoints

The authors note that the WHO draft guidelines continue, as they have in the past, to (1) rely heavily on “surrogate endpoints” of the effect of dietary saturated fat intake on the level of lipid and lipoproteins in the blood — and (2) ignores the food source of the saturated fat.

They raise three key points;

1. Not all saturated fatty acids are equal; the amount andeven the direction of the effects (raises or lowers) both surrogate and long term endpoints vary, depending on which fatty acid is involved.

2. Influence of the food source that the fatty acid is found in; the authors note that it has still not been determiend whether any changes in bloodlipoproteins translates into a lowering of cardiovascular risk and death , regardless of food source.

“Most trials included in the meta-analysis did not investigate whole food sources of saturated fat.”

That is, the studies that WHO considered compared the effect of diets supplemented with fats rich in saturated fatty acids — not the effect of saturated fats in a specific food matrix.

One example of saturated fat in a whole food matrix cited in the paper is one of eggs; where there is “no association with coronary heart disease, and there is a reduced risk of stroke, and that randomized control trial data show that two eggs a day has beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease biomarkers“. (table 1, [1]).

3. Using LDL cholesterol concentration as a marker for cardiovascular disease risk. As I’ve written about in several previous articles, the authors note that the degree to which LDL particles are atherosclerotic is determined by, among other things, their size.

“Small and medium LDL particles show the strongest association with risk of cardiovascular disease, whereas large particles show no association.” [1]

in fact, the authors point out as I did in a recent article about red meat and white meat “raising cholesterol”, that a rise in serum LDL cholesterol concentration from total saturated fat consumption has been linked to a parallel increase in particle size “so it might not translate into an
increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”[1]

Excluding Observational Studies and Prospective Cohort Studies

The authors point out that the WHO draft guidelines exclude two types of studies from consideration; observational studies and prospective cohort studies because they argue that the quality of the evidence is lower than from
analyses of RCTs, and that it was not possible to assess the potential differential effects of replacing saturated fatty acids with different nutrients.

The problem with this is that (1) observational studies enable assessing the association between saturated fat and cardiovascular disease  rather than simply looking at the association between surrogate endpoints” (i.e. saturated fat and LDL-c) and (2) observational studies enable examining of the actual foods that people eat, rather than just individual nutrients, as

“Longstanding evidence indicates that the food matrix is more important than its fatty acid content for predicting the effect of a food on risk of coronary heart disease.”

The authors concluded;

“A recommendation to reduce intake of total saturated fat
without considering specific fatty acids and food sources is not
evidence based
; will distract from other more effective food-
based recommendations; and might cause a reduction in the
intake of nutrient dense foods that decrease the risk of
cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, other serious
non-communicable diseases, malnutrition, and deficiency
diseases and could further increase vulnerability to nutrient
deficiencies in groups already at risk.

Final thoughts

This analysis adds a critical academic “voice” to the concern of limited saturated fat intake which may translate a reduction in the intake of nutrient-dense whole foods.

In fact, this was precisely the concern that I raised in my most recent article about the Canada Food Guide “Snapshot” which came out at the end of June and which linked an image of ultra-processed foods with the message “limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat“. After all, meat is high in saturated fat and cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium, but are these really the types of whole, real foods that Canadians should be advised to limit?

More Info?

If you would like more information about choosing whole, real food and limiting ultra-processed foods, I can help.

You can learn more about my services under the Services tab or in the Shop. If you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchf-rd/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Astrup A, Bertram HCS, Bonjour J-P et al, WHO draft guidelines on dietary saturated and trans fatty acids: time for a new approach? BMJ 2019; 366: l4137 doi: 10.1136/bmj.l4137
  2. Health Canada. Food, Nutrients and Health: Interim Evidence Update 2018. Ottawa: Health Canada; 2019.

The post WHO Draft Guidelines on Saturated Fat Excludes Key Facts and Studies appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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Note: This article is a combination of a Science Made Simple article, with the references below and an editorial which provides my opinion.

Dietary advice ⁠— especially National Dietary Guidelines ought to give clear, consistent messages. It would seem that the new Canada Food Guide ‘snapshot’ outlined in the previous article may inadvertently cause considerable confusion as to which foods are healthy and which are not.

The new Canada Food Guide ‘snapshot’ released last week shows a photo of ultra-processed products as foods to avoid, yet the label beneath the photo reads “limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat” (see circled part of photo, below).

Canada Food Guide ‘Snapshot’

In fact, when the image of these processed foods is clicked on the Health Canada website, it brings the reader to a page listing the “Benefits of Limiting Highly Processed foods” and has paragraphs below for Sodium, Sugars, and Saturated Fat. 

In my opinion, this conflates two issues. 

Advising people to limit ultra-processed food is not the same as advising them to limit saturated fat, sodium and sugar

There are many whole unprocessed foods and minimally processed foods such as meat, eggs, cheese, yogourt, olives and berries that have sustained humans through thousands of years of history that contain these elements and are unlikely to be responsible for our current epidemics of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease that we now face.

As mentioned in an earlier article about distinguishing between food and food-like products there is a big difference between the three categories of food as defined by the NOVA food classification system [2,3,4]. Unprocessed Foods such as meat, chicken, fish and eggs are whole, real food in their original state and Minimally Processed Foods such as cheese, yogourt or pickled and cured fish or meat or olives are foods that have been preserved in some fashion by curing, smoking or soaking in brine. Foods such as meat, eggs, cheese and olives may be high in saturated fat or sodium but have been part of the human diet for thousands of years without compelling evidence that these pose a risk to human health.

It may be helpful to recommend that people consume pickled, cured meat and fish in smaller quantities, not because these foods are high in saturated fat or sodium, but because many are now made in less traditional ways that involve the use of chemical additives.

The primary health concern that I see it is that Ultra Processed Foods is making up more than 50% of the Canadian (and American) diet and really isn’t food at all. These are manufactured products made from a combination of refined carbohydrates (including sugar) and seed oils and are convenient, hyper-palatable and cheap — and displace real food from the diet. In fact, some of the most addictive foods available to us are ultra processed foods; including breakfast cereal, muffins, pizza, cheeseburgers, French fries and fried chicken — and desserts such as chocolate, ice cream, cookies and cake, as well as the soda we wash them down with [5]. These ultra processed foods are full of “empty calories” / have little nutritional value, and full of refined fats and refined carbs. It is for this reason ultra processed should be limited — not because it is high in saturated fat and sodium. 

Even though fruit as we now know it has been bred over the last 50-100 years to be hyper-sweet, for metabolically healthy people there is still no comparison between natural whole fruit such as berries or an apple, and sugary pop. One is real, whole unprocessed food and the other is ultra processed.

In my opinion, it makes good sense for Health Canada to show a photo of ultra-processed foods as they had (above)with advice to limit them — but because they are ultra processed, not because they are high in saturated fat or sodium.

Shifting the Focus off Saturated Fat Based on the Evidence

As covered in several previous article on this site, while research does indicate that dietary saturated fat raises low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) in the blood, distinction in these studies isn’t made between the small, dense LDL sub-fraction which is atherosclerotic, and the large, fluffy LDL which is not. This recent study makes this distinction; demonstrating that saturated fat from red meat and poultry raises the large, fluffy LDL and cardio-protective HDL, but not the small dense (atherosclerotic) LDL.

Epidemiological studies that do exist provide a very mixed picture of any possible association between saturated fatty acids and cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke); with recent studies finding no association [6,7]. Even more compelling, the data from the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiological (PURE) Study which was the largest prospective epidemiological study to date involving many different countries found that dietary saturated fat was actually beneficial; with those who ate the largest amounts of saturated fat having significantly reduced death rates and that those that ate the lowest amounts of saturated fat (6-7% of calories) had increased risk of stroke [8].

In addition, according to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation position statement titled “Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke“ released in September 2015 [9], different saturated fatty acids (e.g. lauric, stearic, myristic and palmitic acids) have different effects on blood cholesterol, so we can’t simply lump all saturated fats together.

Focus on Where Change is Needed

I believe that national guidelines such as Canada’s Food Guide should focus on eliminating ultra-processed foods from the diet because these form almost half of caloric intake with little nutrients and displace real, whole nourishing food from the diet.

This makes good sense.

In my opinion, the linking of ultra processed foods to saturated fat and sodium as has been done in this most recent Canada Food Guide ‘snapshot’ will end up confusing the public that things like fried chicken and cheese are both equally unhealthy because they are high in saturated fat and salt.

It would be far more helpful to highlight the benefits of whole, unprocessed foods and minimally processed foods while encouraging the public to limit ultra processed foods.

More Info?

If you would like more information about limiting ultra-processed foods, while including whole, real foods (plant-based and animal-based), I can help.

You can learn more about my services under the Services tab or in the Shop. If you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchf-rd/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References

  1. Health Canada Snapshot: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/?utm_source=canada-ca-foodguide-en&utm_medium=vurl&utm_campaign=foodguide
  2. Moubarac JC, Batal M, Martins AP, Claro R, Levy RB, Cannon G, et al. Processed and ultraprocessed food products: Consumption trends in Canada from 1938 to 2011. Can J Diet Pract Res. 2014 Spring;75(1):15-21.
  3. Monteiro CA, Moubarac J-C, Cannon G., Ng SW, Popkin B. Ultra-processed products are becoming dominant in the global food system. Obes Rev. 2013
  4. Moubarac JC. Ultra-processed foods in Canada: consumption, impact on diet quality and policy implications. Montréal: TRANSNUT, University of Montreal; December 2017Nov;14 Suppl 2:21-8. doi: 10.1111/obr.12107.
  5. Schulte EM, Avena NM, Gearhardt AN (2015) Which Foods May be Addictive? The Roles of Processing, Fat Content and Glycemic Load. PLoS ONE 10(2); e0117959. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117959
  6. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, Crowe F, Ward HA, Johnson L, et al. Association of dietary, circulating and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Internal Medicine 2014;160:398-406.
  7. Sri-Tarino PW, Sun Q, Hu FB, Krauss RM. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nut 2010;91(3):535-546.
  8. Dehghan M, Mente A, Zhang X et al, The PURE Study – Associations of fats and carbohydrate intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 18 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study. Lancet. 2017 Nov 4;390(10107):2050-2062
  9. Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, Position Statement “Saturated Fat, Heart Disease and Stroke, September 24, 2015, https://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/canada/position-statement/saturatedfat-eng-final.ashx

The post Focus on Limiting Ultra Processed Food Not Saturated Fat & Sodium appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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Note: This article is a combination of a Science Made Simple article, with the references below and an editorial which provides my opinion.

This past Monday, Health Canada released the Canada’s Food Guide “snapshot” in 28 languages which is not intended to be a stand-alone resource, but to be used as a tool to guide people to the Canada’s Food Guide website.

Canada’s Food Guide includes Canada’s Dietary Guidelines[1], the healthy eating recommendations[2], and all of the other resources and information on the Canada’s Food Guide website. Links to the guidelines and healthy eating recommendations are available in the References, below.

The “Snapshot”

The main message of the “snapshot” is that “healthy eating is more than the foods you eat” ⁠— which I think is an excellent way of summarizing the guidelines and recommendations and encouraging the public to want to learn more. From that point of view, the snapshot is successful in that it is likely to guide people to the website.

The main points on the Snapshot are;

  1. Be mindful of your eating habits
  2. Cook more often
  3. Enjoy your food
  4. Eat meals with others
  5. Use food labels
  6. Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat*
  7. Be aware of food marketing

Each of these points link to the sections of Canada’s Food Guide which address those points and in my opinion are all very helpful, except for one elaborated on below.

For example, under “Be mindful of your eating habits” is and encouragement for Canadians to be aware of;

  • how you eat
  • why you eat
  • what you eat
  • when you eat
  • where you eat
  • how much you eat

Being mindful can help you:

  • make healthier choices more often
  • make positive changes to routine eating behaviours
  • be more conscious of the food you eat and your eating habits
  • create a sense of awareness around your every day eating decisions
  • reconnect to the eating experience by creating an awareness of your:
    • feelings
    • thoughts
    • emotions
    • behaviours

As the Snapshot re-iterates, these are factors that are “more than the food you eat” and helpful for people to keep in mind.

My only issue with the “Snapshot” is the use of the image for “Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat“, circled below.

Snapshot with “Limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat” circled

Here is that image by itself;

What I see when I look at this image is ultra-processed food (what I refer to in a previous article about the NOVA Food Classification System as “food-like products“.

These are not whole, real food, but are creations of the food industry that are intended to displace real, whole food from the diet (you can read more about that by clicking here). These are products that are “branded assertively, packaged attractively, and marketed intensively”.

In fact, this picture shows some of the most addictive foods listed in a 2015 study including chocolate, muffins, pizza, pastry and soda pop[3]

If the intent is for Canadians to “limit foods high in sodium, sugars and saturated fat“, in my opinion the following photo would be a more accurate reflection of that principle;

Real, whole foods that are high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat

Cheese, eggs and meat are high in saturated fat, and cured meats are high in sodium and saturated fat, and dates are certainly very high in sugar but are these really all foods that Canadians should limit?

Is there scientific evidence that healthy people should limit eggs, real cheese and whole fresh meats and poultry? Is it “unhealthy” for metabolically well folks to eat dates, which are very high in sugar? Or are we conflating whole, real food with ultra-processed food?

Using the NOVA food classification (outlined in the article linked above) that foods such as cheeses, cured meats and olives or anchovies are minimally processed foods that have been processed to make them ore durable and palatable, but they are not “ultra-processed foods” akin to hot dogs, pizza and pop!

I don’t believe that it is helpful to lump “ultra-processed food” and whole, real food that are high in saturated fat, sodium and sugar, together.

In my opinion, it would far better for the image in the Snapshot to look like this;

It makes good sense to advise Canadians to limit ultra-processed foods⁠ because they are high in refined carbohydrates and refined fats, and low in nutrient density ⁠— but labeling ultra-processed food as “limit foods high in sodium, sugar or saturated fat”, we are failing to distinguish between whole, real foods and food-like products that displace real, whole food from the diet.

Ultra-processed food is not the same as whole, real foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat More Info?

If you would like more information about limiting ultra-processed foods, while including whole, real foods that are both plant-based and animal-based, I can help.

You can learn more about my services under the Services tab or in the Shop. If you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchf-rd/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Health Canada, Canada’s Dietary Guidelines, https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/guidelines/
  2. Health Canada, Healthy Eating Recommendations, https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/
  3. Schulte EM, Avena NM, Gearhardt AN (2015) Which Foods May be Addictive? The Roles of Processing, Fat Content and Glycemic Load. PLoS ONE 10(2); e0117959. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0117959

The post Canada Food Guide Snapshot: Limit Real Whole Food or Ultra-Processed? appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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The Die Healthier Podcast

On Thursday, June 20, 2019 I was invited to be a guest of Daniel Flahie and Scot Gubbels on the Die Healthier Podcast and this is how they introduce the episode;

“Joy Kiddie is a Registered Dietitian offering both in-person and distance -based consultations. She is registered with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia and the College of Dietitians of Alberta as well as a member of the Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition. She currently resides and practices in Vancouver, British Columbia.

We discuss several topics surrounding low-carb-high-fat eating, including ketogenic diets and vegetarian approaches. Joy does a great job of leading us through a lot of the prevailing dogma surrounding nutrition on both sides of the aisle. We also discuss her personal nutrition journey and how sleep, circadian rhythm, and blue light exposure plays a major role in our overall health and well-being.”

You can follow her and read her blog on her website: www.lchf-rd.com

You can find her on Facebook and you can follow her on Twitter @lchfRD

As always, follow us:

Scot Gubbels on Twitter @Gubbsco and on Instagram @Scottyg17

and

Daniel Flahie on Twitter and Instagram @danielflahie

Referenced Work:

Satchin Panda, PhD – The Circadian Code

Matthew Walker PhD – Why We Sleep

Note from Joy: I hope you enjoy the interview and many thanks to both Daniel Flahie and Scot Gubbels for inviting me to be a guest. Just click the MP3 player bar below to listen to the interview.

https://www.lchf-rd.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/be7a8c6fc07409003e9132b78caeda8be55cb169.mp3

The episode can be downloaded at:

Libsyn:

http://diehealthier.libsyn.com/scot

ITunes:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/41-registered-dietitian-joy-kiddie/id1414760464?i=1000442706487

PlayerFM:

https://player.fm/series/the-die-healthier-podcast/ep-41-registered-dietitian-joy-kiddie

If you have questions about what I do or how I might be able to support you, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

The post Episode #41 Die Healthier Podcast – interview with Joy Kiddie RD appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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The maintenance of blood sugar is very tightly regulated; with a healthy person’s blood glucose being kept in the range from 3.3-5.5 mmol/L (60-100 mg/dl) between meals, however a new study indicates that it may be newer variant of a gene that determines how well (or not) we are able to maintain these levels.

After eating, the higher levels of blood glucose that comes from the broken-down carbohydrate-based food triggers the release of insulin by the pancreas, which in turn causes the release of a special transporter called GLUT4.  The GLUT4 transporter acts like a taxi to remove excess glucose from the blood, taking it into muscle and fat tissue.

Newer Variant of an Older Gene

Between meals and with the help of a special protein (CHC22) produced by the CLTCL1 gene, the GLUT4 glucose transporter remains inside muscle and fat, so that some blood sugar will continue to circulate.

A newly published study [1] by research specialists in population genetics, evolutionary biology, ancient DNA and cell biology analyzed the human genomes to understand how the gene producing CHC22 has changed over human history [2].

By examining the genomes of 2,504 people from the global 1000 Genomes Project compared to the genomes of ancient humans, researchers found that almost half of the people in various ethnic groups have a variant of CHC22 protein that is produced by a new variant of the CLTCL1 gene that became more common as humans moved away from being hunter-gathers and began farming and raising crops. Researchers postulate that the increased consumption of carbohydrates may have been the selective force driving this genetic adaptation.

Researchers found that the newer CHC22 variant of the gene is less effective at keeping the GLUT4 glucose transporter inside muscle and fat tissue between meals, which means that the transporter can more readily clear glucose out of the blood.*

As a result, people with the newer variant of the gene will have lower blood sugar than those with the older variant of the gene.

“The older version of this genetic variant likely would have been helpful to our ancestors as it would have helped maintain higher levels of blood sugar during periods of fasting, in times when we didn’t have such easy access to carbohydrates, and this would have helped us evolve our large brains”[2] — lead author Dr Matteo Fumagalli

*Note: It’s important to keep in mind that only GLUT4 transporters are insulin dependent. There are other glucose transporters that allow glucose into the cell that don’t involve insulin, such as the GLUT1 transporter that works on a concentration gradient. That is, the effect of this gene is not on all glucose regulation, but only glucose regulation in adipose and muscle cells that use GLUT4 transporters.

The higher carbohydrate diets that came as a result of the advent of agricultural meant that this newer variant of the gene could be advantageous, as it moves the excess blood sugar from the blood into the muscle and fat tissue and having the older variant of the gene may make people more likely to develop Diabetes and may also make worse the insulin resistance that underlies the process of developing Diabetes.

“People with the older variant (of the gene) may need to be more careful of their carb intake, but more research is needed to understand how the genetic variant we found can impact our physiology”[2] — co-author Dr. Frances Brodsky 

Along with the 2015 study from Israel[3] that demonstrated substantial differences in blood glucose response between both healthy individuals and those with Diabetes predictable by their gut microbiome, this new research adds to the knowledge that multiple factors are involved with determining whether people can tolerate specific dietary carbohydrate loads.

Nutritional guidelines for maintaining healthy blood glucose levels are portrayed as universally applicable, however this new study and the 2015 Israeli study demonstrates that blood glucose varies significantly between individuals based on genetics as well as on gut microbiota composition, which necessitates the need for personalized nutrition in managing blood glucose levels.

More Info

If you are interested in a personalized approach aimed at helping you gain control of your blood sugar levels, I can help.

I offer both in-person services in my Coquitlam, British Columbia office as well as remote services via Distance Consultation. You can find more information about my packages under the Services tab or in the Shop and if you would like to learn more about how Distance Consultation services work, you can click here.

Have Questions?

If you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Matteo Fumagalli, Stephane M Camus, Yoan Diekmann, Alice Burke, Marine D Camus, Paul J Norman, Agnel Joseph, Laurent Abi-Rached, Andrea Benazzo, Rita Rasteiro, Iain Mathieson, Maya Topf, Peter Parham, Mark G Thomas, Frances M Brodsky. Genetic diversity of CHC22 clathrin impacts its function in glucose metabolism. eLife, 2019; 8 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.41517
  2. University College London. “Gene mutation evolved to cope with modern high-sugar diets.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2019, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190604084857.htm
  3.  Zeevi D, et al. Personalized nutrition by prediction of glycemic responses. Cell. 2015;163:1079–1094.
  4. Noecker C, Borenstein E. Getting Personal About Nutrition. Trends Mol Med. 2016;22(2):83–85. doi:10.1016/j.molmed.2015.12.010

The post Only Half of People Have Newer Gene that Controls High Blood Sugar appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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INTRODUCTION: There much debate in the health community about the effect of dietary fat — especially saturated fat on cholesterol levels and whether there is an association between dietary saturated fat intake and cardiovascular disease.

In the first part in this two-part series titled High Cholesterol and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, I explained what cholesterol is, the different types of cholesterol (HDL-C, VLDL, LDL-C and triglycerides (which are not actually cholesterol), what their role is, and what “high cholesterol” is.

In this article which is Part 2 in the two-part series, I will explain the association between dietary intake of saturated fat and higher levels of total LDL, and whether reducing total LDL — whether through the use of statin medication or diet lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dietary Saturated Fat and LDL

When people are told that they have “high cholesterol”, what is meant is that they have high total LDL. They are told they have high “bad” cholesterol, with no regard that there are different sub-fractions of LDL.

It is well known that eating foods high in saturated fat can raise LDL-C (total LDL cholesterol, but as covered in Part 1 of this two-part series, the first question one should ask when told they have “high LDL cholesterol” is “which LDL? The small dense ones or the large fluffy ones?”[1].

More often than not, the clinician that breaking the ‘bad news’ to the patients has absolutely no idea that there are different sub-fractions of LDL and that it is only the small, dense ones that are atherosclerotic [1].

Furthermore, there is almost a knee-jerk reaction on the part of many clinicians to prescribe statin medication in order to lower their LDL, on the assumption that lowering LDL will lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, aggressive treatment to lower total LDL-C has been at the (pardon the pun) heart of preventative cardiology for decades.

While statin medication (e.g. Lipitor®, Crestor®, etc.) is well-documented to reduce LDL-C levels, these are only surrogate markers (not direct markers) of cardiovascular disease (CVD). The assumption of an association between high LDL levels and CVD goes back as far as Ansel Keys and the Seven Country Study, and that the Diet Heart Hypothesis (covered in several previous articles) is simply an “establish fact”. But it is?

What evidence is there that lowering total LDL with statin medication lowers one’s risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD)?

The brand new guidelines on cholesterol management issued by the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) which has just been published online ahead of print[2], places a renewed focus on LDL-C as a means to assess risk. In fact, these guidelines propose that non-fasting lipids be adopted as a screen in the general population, including “non-adults” (children and youth) [2]. As has been the case for decades., this is based on the assumption that total LDL (LDL-C) is an accurate surrogate marker for elevated cardiovascular risk, but does lowering LDL-C really lower CVD?

Of particular interest, the new American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) guidelines state that the traditional Friedewald equation which is used to calculate total LDL (i.e. LDL-C) as covered in Part 1 of this series of articles has been “prone to inaccuracy …at low-LDL-C and high triglyceride levels“ — yet decades of statin treatment has been based on the previous “inaccurate” Friedewald equation. The new guidelines promote the use of a new Martin/Hopkins LDL-C calculation method which is said to “perform better in these settings”. The question remains ‘does lowering LDL-C lower the risk of cardiovascular disease?’.

There are 44 randomized controlled trials of drug or dietary interventions to lower total LDL ( LDL-C) published in the literature which show no benefit in lowering rates of death [3] and most did not reduce CVD events [4].

Furthermore, despite a 37% drop in LDL-C and a 130% increase in HDL-C (so-called “good cholesterol”), the ACCELERATE double-blind randomized control  trial showed no significant reduction in CVD or death [3.4].

In addition, there does not appear to be a clear reduction in CVD deaths in Western European countries either as a result of using statins for prevention [5].

This begs the question as to whether using statin medication to aggressively lower LDL-C has any benefit.

A 2018 article published in Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology concluded;

“For half a century, a high level of total cholesterol (TC) or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) has been considered to be the major cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), and statin treatment has been widely promoted for cardiovascular prevention. However, there is an increasing understanding that the mechanisms are more complicated and that statin treatment, in particular when used as primary prevention, is of doubtful benefit.” [6]

What about lowering the intake of dietary saturated fat? Does that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease?

A 2014 meta-analysis of data of 72 studies involving more than 600,000 participants from 18 countries published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine in 2014 [7] concluded that total saturated fat; whether measured in the diet or in the bloodstream showed no association with heart disease [7].

Take away: While eating dietary fat may raise the level of total LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), lowering its intake does not show any benefit in reducing the incidence of heart disease, nor does lowering LDL-C using statin drugs.

Which LDL?

A brand new study published June 4, 2019 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition sheds some very helpful light [8].

The study enrolled 113 people and randomized them to either a high saturated fat diet (40% carbs, 24% protein, 35% fat; 14% saturated fat) or a low saturated fat diet (40% carbs, 24% protein, 35% fat; 7% saturated fat replaced by monounsaturated fat).

Each group changed their diet every 4 weeks from (a) a high red meat diet (mostly from beef), (b) a high white meat diet (chicken and turkey) and (c) a non-meat protein diet (legumes, nuts, grain and soy).

Researchers found that LDL cholesterol and Apolipoprotein B (explained in the first part of this article) were higher with red and white meat alike and that the increase “was due primarily to increases in large LDL particles” with no change in the small particles and no significant change in the total cholesterol to HDL ratio.

This is highly significant!

What this means is that yes, eating meat; whether it’s red meat (such as beef, lamb or goat) or white meat (such as chicken or turkey) DOES increase LDL —but it’s the large, fluffy LDL particles that are increased; the ones that are not associated with cardiovascular disease[1]!

In fact, in the paper, the researchers acknowledge;

Large LDL particles, measured by several different methodologies, have not been associated with CVD in multiple population cohorts in contrast to the associations observed for concentrations of medium, small, and/or very small LDL… Thus, the estimated impact of red meat, white meat, and dairy-derived saturated fatty acids (SFA) on CVD risk as reflected by their effects on LDL cholesterol and ApoB concentrations may be attenuated by the lack of their effects on smaller LDL particles that are most strongly associated with CVD.

Essentially, there has been on over-reliance on total LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) as a marker of cardiovascular disease, without distinguishing the atherosclerotic small, dense LDL from the non-atherosclerotic large, fluffy LDL.

The authors conclude;

“…the impact of high intakes of red and white meat, as well as saturated fatty acid (SFA) from dairy sources, which selectively raised large LDL sub-fractions may be overestimated by reliance on LDL cholesterol, as is the case in current dietary guidelines.”

This means that eating red meat (such as beef or lamb) or white meat (such as chicken or turkey) or eating saturated fat from full-fat dairy (such as full fat milk, cheese and yogurt) are associated with increased levels of the large, fluffy LDL sub-fraction and based on multiple population studies the large, fluffy LDL subfraction has not been found to be associated with cardiovascular disease.

Simply put, this means that eating foods high in saturated fat does not raise small LDL particles (which are the atherosclerotic sub-fraction) and results in no change to the total cholesterol to HDL ratio, and increases the large, fluffy LDL-subfraction (which are NOT found to be associated with cardiovascular disease)!

While this is a small pilot study, it adds further evidence that eating saturated fat does not increase cardiovascular risk.

Note: high levels of the small, dense LDL sub-fraction is thought to be genetic, but is also associated with intake of trans fatty acids and high intake of refined carbohydrates. More on that in future articles.

More Info?

If you would like to learn more about my services, you can find more information under the Services tab or in the Shop and if you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Lamarche, B., I. Lemieux, and J.P. Després, The small, dense LDL phenotype and the risk of coronary heart disease: epidemiology, patho-physiology and therapeutic aspects. Diabetes Metab, 1999. 25(3): p. 199-211.
  2. Cao J, Devaraj S, Recent AHA/ACC guidelines on cholesterol management expands the role of the clinical laboratory, Clinica Chimica Acta 495 (2019) 82–84, Available online 03 April 2019.
  3. DuBroff R. Cholesterol paradox: a correlate does not a surrogate make. Evid Based Med,2017;22(1):15–9. doi: 10.1136/ebmed-2016-110602
  4. Demasi M, Lustig RH, Malhotra A, The cholesterol and calorie hypotheses are both dead — it is time to focus on the real culprit: insulin resistance, Clinical Pharmacist, 14 July 2017.
  5. Vancheri F, Backlund L, Strender L et al. Time trends in statin utilisation and coronary mortality in Western European countries. BMJ Open 2016; 6(3):e010500. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-010500
  6. Ravnskov U, de Lorgeril M, Diamond DM, et al, LDL-C does not cause cardiovascular disease: a comprehensive review of the current literature, Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 2008;11:10, 959-970, DOI: 10.1080/17512433.2018.1519391
  7. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, Crowe F, Ward HA, Johnson L, et al. Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2014;160:398–406. doi: 10.7326/M13-1788

The post Lowering LDL and Saturated Fat to Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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Note: This article is a personal account, and I have written consent from the person whose story this is, to share these details in this article. She hopes it encourages someone. Keep in mind, individual results following a low carb or ketogenic diet vary person-to-person.

At the end of May, a young woman was coming to see me for an assessment appointment, and as I was reviewing her chart in preparation, I noticed that she was taking insulin. It was apparent that she didn’t see the notice on  my web page that I don’t treat Type 1 Diabetics or Type 2 Diabetics on insulin, as I am not a CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator).

Discontinuing Insulin

When she arrived, we discussed some of the options she had, and she decided to go and see her endocrinologist and request that they discontinue her insulin and give her 12 weeks to follow a Meal Plan that I would design for her. She then signed and sent me the Confirmation of Non-Insulin Use Form, indicating that with her doctor’s permission and oversight, that she was no longer taking insulin. To support her in being successful, she decided to book weekly 1/2 hour check ins with me for the following 12 weeks.

Last Friday was her first follow up appointment and she was very excited to show me her blood sugar results, her first week off insulin.  Here is the graph;

As can be seen, her fasting blood sugar the first morning was 16.8 mmol (303 mg/dl) which went up to 18.7 mmol/L (337 mg/dl) 2 hours after her low carbohydrate breakfast.

The following morning her fasting blood glucose was 12 mmol/L (216 mg/dl) where it stayed more or less for a few days, then dropped to 9.9 mmol/L (178 mg/dl). This was after only one week.

I asked her to speak to her doctor to see if they would be willing to add a dose of Metformin at bedtime, to help control “dawn phenomenon”; the rise in glucose due to gluconeogenesis of the liver.  Her doctor agreed and this week she started that.

This morning was her second follow up appointment and again, she was so excited to show me her blood sugar results.

As can be seen, her fasting blood sugar the first morning of the second week was 10.8 mmol (195 mg/dl) which hardly went up at all to 10.9 mmol/L (196 mg/dl) 2 hours after her low carbohydrate breakfast.

The second morning of the second week, her fasting blood glucose was 9.2 mmol/L (166 mg/dl). The rest of the week, her morning fasting blood sugar ranged from 8.4 mmol/L (151 mg/dl) to 9.6 (173 mg/dl) where it stayed. This was only her second week off insulin.

Moderate Low Carb (not Ketogenic) Diet

Understand, that this young woman (aged 33 years of age) achieved these results eating a moderate low carbohydrate diet of 130 g of carbs per day — which is no where near the level of 25-35 g per day that most women would need to be at in order to be in ketosis, and she has been Type 2 Diabetic since 2017.

2 weeks graph – June 8 – 20, 2019 – moderate low carb diet

Here is the graph of her first two weeks of blood glucose results, tracked at fasting, before a meal, and 2 hours after a meal. The steady, linear drop is quite apparent.

She saw her GP yesterday and he is thrilled with her progress! He agreed to provide her with a requisition to do the fasting insulin that I requested, along with a fasting blood glucose and HbA1C — which we have agreed together to have re-run in 3 months, at the end of the 12 weeks.

For this week, no changes are being made in the number of carbs she is eating, however this may be adjusted in the future in order to achieve clinical outcomes.

These results speak for themselves in terms of the effectiveness of a  moderate-low carbohydrate diet to significantly lower blood sugar, as well as the adjunct treatment with Metformin, largely to control early morning gluconeogenesis.

These results also speak to the incredible benefits of her having the support of a healthcare team; me designing and monitoring her Meal Plan and her GP overseeing her care, along with her Endocrinologist.

In two weeks she will see her Endocrinologist again and she (and I!) are looking forward to hearing their response to her progress at that point in time. Given her results the first two weeks, I am confident that she will have much to be proud of!

When I asked her to send me her written consent to share these details in a blog article, I ask her to say a few words about what it was like for her to go from injecting insulin to control her blood sugar, to eating real, whole food to do it — and achieving these types of results.

This is what she wrote;

“I had done so much research into diet and lifestyle changes for Type 2 diabetes as I did not want to go on insulin. Prior to starting on insulin, I was put on Metformin and given the chance from my endocrinologist to change my diet. There was so much information about a low carb diet and its positive effect on blood sugar, so I gave it a try. It could be that I was overwhelmed, but I followed what I believed to be a low carb diet and did not see any significant changes to my blood sugar levels. They were all over the place with huge spikes, even when I would have zero carbs. Clearly something was not right. It gave me no motivation to continue and really made me feel defeated.

I knew I needed help and the only answer my endocrinologist gave me was a prescription for insulin.

I started insulin and was on it for 2 weeks without seeing any significant changes in my blood sugar levels again. This was not working.

So I decided to look for help on the nutrition side of it. Then I found you, Joy Kiddie. I read a little bit about your journey and it inspired me that you have been in my position and therefore would understand my challenges. Your journey gave me hope that there is still something that can be done. Meeting with you was even more of a motivation because you wanted what I wanted; lower A1C and more importantly, no insulin!

These past two weeks, following your guidance and eating a LCHF diet the right way, has been eye opening. I never thought I would get results like this in such a short time.

I used to hate checking my blood sugar levels and poking my poor fingers just to see a discouraging number. Now, I could check all day long because I see numbers that I never thought I would.

Seeing the levels come down and that linear decline in the graph just encourages me to continue down this path and work with you to create a healthier lifestyle.

I cannot wait to see what next week brings!”

For the last 4 years I have been working with those with Type 2 Diabetes and seen so many significantly improve their blood glucose management, and lose weight. Working with this young woman has inspired me to pursue learning about insulin management and writing the CDE (Certified Diabetes Educator) certification exam next year.

While I will continue to partner with people’s GPs and Endocrinologists as is my current practice, I now want to have the certification to help Type 2 Diabetics wean off insulin and use a well-designed low carbohydrate diet to effectively manage their blood sugar. The literature, including the studies from Virta Health demonstrate it can be done safely and effectively and the American Diabetes Association recognize both a low carbohydrate meal pattern, and a very low carbohydrate (ketogenic) meal pattern as Medical Nutrition Therapy in the management of pre-diabetes, as well as Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes in adults.  For more information on this, please see several articles from April 2019, under the Science Made Simple tab including this one.

My hope is that  in the days ahead, Diabetes Canada will arrive at a simlar conclusion as the American Diabetes Association, the EASD, Diabetes Australia and others and recognize a low carbohydrate and ketogenic diet as options for those with Diabetes in Canada. Towards that end, I want to be credentialed as a Certified Diabetes Educator in order to be able to support those using insulin.

If you would like more information about my services, please have a look under the Services tab or in the Shop. If you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchfRD/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

The post From Injecting Insulin to a Low Carb Diet – the first two weeks appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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INTRODUCTION: There is currently much debate in the scientific community about the effect of dietary fat — especially saturated fat on cholesterol levels and the link between dietary saturated fat and cardiovascular disease. To best understand this complex topic, in this first article I will elaborate on the relationship between high cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk. In a subsequent article, I will elaborate on whether lowering total LDL lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a essential structural component of all the cell membranes in the body and is used in the making of steroid hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone by the adrenal glands, sex hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone by the gonads, and is also used in the making of bile acid. Approximately 80% of cholesterol made daily by the body occurs in the liver and  intestines, with the remainder being made in the adrenal glands and reproductive organs.

Different Types of Cholesterol

Triglyceride isn’t actually a type of cholesterol, but is measured on lipid panels along with cholesterol.

Triglyceride is made up of three fatty acids (hence “tri-“) attached to a glycerol molecule (also known as glycerine), which is a sugar alcohol. Some triglyceride is taken in through the diet and the rest is manufactured by the body during lipogenesis (literally meaning the ‘making of fat’). Lipogenesis is how the body stores the excess carbohydrate we eat in our diet that isn’t immediately needed for energy.  Yes, excess dietary carbohydrate is stored in the body as glycogen and when glycogen stores are full, it is stored as fat.

As for cholesterol itself, there are several different types found in the blood;

  • high density lipoprotein (HDL)
  • low density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)

Most people think of high density lipoprotein (HDL) as “good cholesterol” and low density lipoprotein (LDL) as “bad cholesterol” but there are actually two sub-fractions of LDL; the small, dense LDL sub-fraction which is associated with atherosclerotic plaque, and the large, fluffy LDL sub-fraction which is considered protective against cardiovascular disease[1].

This is important, because when people are told they have “high cholesterol“, this is usually implies that they have high LDL. This is often presented to them as them having a high level of “bad” cholesterol.

High Cholesterol

A couple of things need to be clarified about “high cholesterol”;

Firstly, “high LDL” cholesterol means high total LDL cholesterol. When blood tests are said to indicate “high LDL” a good question to ask is “which LDL cholesterol is high; the small dense ones or the large fluffy ones?”. More on this below.

Secondly, it is important to note that lab tests don’t actually measure total LDL but calculate it from the Friedewald formula; which (in mg/dl) is calculated by total cholesterol (TC) – HDL lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol – triglycerides (TGs) / 5. 

When people are told that they have “high LDL” results on a blood test, they are often presented with a recommendation to begin statin medication, but does high total LDL provide sufficient information about cardiovascular risk? More on this below. The use of statin medication will be covered in the subsequent article.

Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) is produced in the liver and the best way to understand its role is to think of it as a “taxi” which the liver makes and then release into the bloodstream to shuttle triglycerides around to the various tissues.  VLDL cholesterol on blood test results isn’t actually measured either, but estimated as a percentage of the triglyceride value. High VLDL is said to be a risk for cardiovascular disease but as elaborated on below, a more accurate measure is the ratio of Apopoprotein B (the lipoprotein in VLDL) compared to the Apoprotein A (the lipoprotein in HDL). 

Where does LDL come from?

Once a large amount of triglyceride has been unloaded in the tissues by the VLDL “taxi”, it becomes a new, smaller lipoprotein called low density lipoprotein, or LDL which contains mostly cholesterol and some protein.

Some LDLs are removed from the circulation by cells around the body that need the cholesterol contained in them and the rest is taken out of the circulation by the liver.

A key point here is that the only source of LDL is VLDL. This is important.

LDL is what is left once the VLDL which is made by the body has offloaded its triglyceride ‘passenger’ to the tissues.

LDL and Heart Disease

Research has often reported that elevated LDL-cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and stroke and it has been assumed that lowering LDL-cholesterol in the blood would decrease cardiovascular deaths and illness. It is this premise that lead to recommendation of treatment of high LDL with statin drugs.

One major problem is that these studies looked at total LDL which doesn’t distinguish between the small, dense sub-fractions of LDL that are atherosclerotic, and the large, fluffy ones that are not [1].

Total LDL (LDL-C) calculates (not measures!) the total content or concentration of cholesterol within all the LDL particles.

LDL particle number (LDL-P) measures the particle concentration.

Since the amount of cholesterol in each particle varies, measuring LDL-C does not necessarily reflect the actual number of particles  — but an increased number of LDL particles occurs in patients with lots of small, dense particles.

Therefore, LDL-particle number (LDL-P) is a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular events than total LDL (LDL-C).

An NMR lipid profile test directly measures the number of LDL particles (as well as HDL particles). For LDL particles, a value of less  than 1.000 in nmol/L is considered ideal, a value of 1000-1299 is considered moderate,  a value of 1300-1599 is considered borderline high, and a value >1600 is considered high.

Apolipoprotein B:Apolipoprotein A

Apolipoprotein B (apo B) is the main lipoprotein in VLDL, and subsequently in LDL after the VLDL has offloaded its triglyceride to the tissues. ApolipoproteinB is correlated with the actual number of LDL-particles, which makes it a very good assessor of the risk of cardiovascular disease, 

Apolipoprotein A (apo A) is the main lipoprotein in HDL (commonly called “good” cholesterol).

Measuring ApoB to ApoA requires special blood tests, but a proxy can be calculated by dividing triglycerides (TG) by HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C) from a standard lipid panel. Studies have found this to be a very good assessor of cardiovascular risk.

Triglyceride:HDL Ratio

In Canada (as well as Europe), values are expressed as mmol/L and the ratios are interpreted as follows [2];

TG:HDL-C < 0.87 is ideal

TG:HDL-C > 1.74 is too high

TG:HDL-C > 2.62 is much too high

In the US, values are expressed in mg/dl and the ratios are interpreted as follows [2];

TG:HDL-C < 2 is ideal

TG:HDL-C > 4 is too high

TG:HDL-C > 6 is much too high

Several studies have found that TG:HDL-C ratio also reflects particle size;

One study from 2004 reported that almost 80% of people with a TG:HDL-C ratio of greater than 3.8 (when values are expressed in mg/dl) had mostly small, dense LDL particles, indicating cardiovascular risk. This same study found that more than 80% with a TG:HDL-C ratio of less than 3.8 (when values are expressed in mg/dl) had mostly large, fluffy LDL particles, indicating lower cardiovascular risk[3].

A 2005 study [4] reported that a TG:HDL-C ratio of 3.5 or greater was highly correlated with atherosclerosis in men, as well as insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

A recent 2014 [5] study found that a high TG:HDL-C ratio was a strong independent predictor of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality both before- and after adjustment for age, smoking, BMI and blood pressure.

Based on this metric, lower cardiovascular risk would be associated with lower triglycerides, raising HDL or both.

But how?

Lowering TG:HDL-C ratio

Losing weight will lower triglycerides, however low-fat diets are not usually helpful in this regard because they are often also high in carbohydrate[2].

Decreasing intake of carbohydrates — especially fructose which is found in fruit, as well as processed products made with high fructose corn syrup has been anecdotally reported to decrease hunger, making weight loss easier. Most importantly, clinical studies using well-designed low carbohydrate diets (already covered in several previous articles) are associated with both a lowering of triglycerides and a increase in HDL.

Lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease through weight loss, along with a lowering of triglycerides and an increase in HDL is where I can help.

More Info?

If you would like to learn more about my services, you can find more information under the Services tab or in the Shop and if you have questions, please feel free to send me a note using the Contact Me form above and I will reply as soon as I can.

To your good health!

Joy

You can follow me on:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lchfRD
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lchf-rd/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lchf_rd

Copyright ©2019 The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian (a division of BetterByDesign Nutrition Ltd.)

LEGAL NOTICE: The contents of this blog, including text, images and cited statistics as well as all other material contained here (the “content”) are for information purposes only.  The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, medical diagnosis and/or treatment and is not suitable for self-administration without the knowledge of your physician and regular monitoring by your physician. Do not disregard medical advice and always consult your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or before implementing anything  you have read or heard in our content.

References
  1. Lamarche, B., I. Lemieux, and J.P. Després, The small, dense LDL phenotype and the risk of coronary heart disease: epidemiology, patho-physiology and therapeutic aspects. Diabetes Metab, 1999. 25(3): p. 199-211.
  2. Sigurdsson AF, The Triglyceride/HDL Cholesterol Ratio, updated January 12, 2019, https://www.docsopinion.com/2014/07/17/triglyceride-hdl-ratio/
  3. Hanak V, Munoz J, Teague J, et al, Accuracy of the triglyceride to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio for prediction of the low-density lipoprotein phenotype B, The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 94, Issue 2, 2004, Pages 219-222, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2004.03.069
  4. McLaughlin T, Reaven G, Abbasi F, et al. Is there a simple way to
    identify insulin-resistant individuals at increased risk of cardiovascular
    disease? Am J Cardiol. 2005;96(3):399Y404.
  5. Vega GL, Barlow CE, Grundy SM et al, Triglyceride to High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Ratio is an Index of Heart Disease Mortality and of Incidence of Type 2 Diabetes Melletus in Men, Journal of Investigative Medicine & Volume 62, Number 2, February 2014

The post High Cholesterol and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease appeared first on The Low Carb Healthy Fat Dietitian.

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