Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Carbohydrates and your cholesterol

The effect of dietary carbohydrate on blood lipids has received considerable attention in light of the recent trend in lowering carbohydrate intake for weight loss.

The association between carbohydrate intake and serum lipids was evaluated in 574 healthy adults in Central Massachusetts from 1994-1998.

Results suggest that there is a complex and predominantly unfavorable effect from increased intake of highly processed carbohydrate on lipid profile, i.e. more carbohydrates resulted in lower HDL levels and higher triglyceride levels.

And, how important (again) is HDL? In a large study of Japanese men (a group not known for a high incidence of myocardial infarction), the most important predictor was low HDL-cholesterol. It was suggested that low HDL plays a pivotal role in a population whose total cholesterol level is not high to begin with.

So, let's watch the carbs, especially the refined carbs, and follow a Mediterranean plan for balance.

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