High Carb – High Cholesterol, How Fat Got Demonized by Sugar
Cholesterol affects nearly a quarter of the population. Rather than taking medication, there are simple diet changes that you can do that will rapidly drop your cholesterol and help you feel better overall. But, you have to understand what cholesterol really is…
What if we told you that LDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is the bad cholesterol? Would that blow your mind?
A Brief History of Cholesterol
Known since ancient times, people that ate rich foods tended to have hardened arteries and a gunky plaque buildup.
They didn’t quite know how it formed or where it came from, but they did know it occurred in the upper classes that ate more fatty meats, more sugary foods, and were less active.
Around the 1920s, doctors were discovering different types of molecules within the human body and what they do. Cholesterol was one of them. It was also around this time that studies started showing that the new high sugar diets were the cause of heart disease and obesity.
Of course, the very rich and powerful sugar industry, backed by big business that also produced medications and vaccines, didn’t like that. So, they launched their own campaign and used their own scientists to prove cholesterol and fat cause high cholesterol. NPR did a great article on what they did, including some of the big, corporate sponsors that benefited from the anti-fat campaign.
It made sense, eat cholesterol and have high cholesterol.
Fortunately, we now are getting back to the truth. A high-carbohydrate diet, especially one packed with sugars, causes heart disease and high cholesterol.
HDL vs. LDL
One of the biggest confusions for cholesterol is what exactly it is. Cholesterol is a long chain fatty acid, a lipid, or just plain old fat, which has a specific purpose in the body. That purpose is to provide building materials for our cells, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Cholesterol is one of the primary building blocks of life.
“Two forms of fat that are vitally important for brain health are cholesterol and saturated fat.” ~ David Perlmutter – leading neurophysician researching dementia and memory issues
HDL and LDL are not cholesterol. They are two types of proteins that wrap around the cholesterol to dictate where it goes in the body.
High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, scours the body for unused or damaged cholesterol molecules and takes it to the liver. We do want this number to be moderate to high in our body because we don’t want random fats and cholesterol hanging out in our blood. That can cause a whole different set of problems that will go over in a future article.
It’s actually the low-density lipoproteins that are most beneficial to the body. Low-density lipoproteins are smart. They take cholesterol from the liver and find inflammation and damage within the body. The lipoprotein delivers the cholesterol to the damage where it’s used to build new and healthy tissue.
An elevated LDL cholesterol means there’s significant damage going on in the body. This could be from inflammation, irritable bowel syndrome, arthritis, a cut or scrape, or any organ damage.
Your LDL cholesterol reading should be an indication of what else is happening in the body, not the problem itself. And taking medication to lower your LDL cholesterol is leaving a bigger, more significant problem completely unaddressed.
How a high sugar – high processed food diet raises your cholesterol
The problem stems from a high sugar diet. Processed foods rely heavily on sugar, chemicals, and nutrient devoid foods and do damage to the body. They're difficult to digest, cause inflammation, and do not provide enough nutrition for us to be healthy.
Repeatedly giving your system high sugar food pushes the pancreas to overwork itself (diabetes risk), feeds bacteria that cause gas and bloating, and increases your weight.
That’s why so many people feel good when they go on to lower carbohydrate diets; they remove many of the irritations to our digestive system and body.
Let's look just one of these pieces: irritable bowel syndrome. Does this sound familiar? About an hour or two after you eat, you start feeling crampy, bloated and have low-grade, unidentifiable pain. It kind of moves around a bit as the food moves through your intestine. After a little while, it goes away… until you eat again.
The chemicals and sugars within food rub against sensitive tissues within your digestive tract. The sugars break down the protective layer of mucus and feed that bacteria that produce gas and bloating. Hence, pain and irritation. The chemicals wreak havoc all over the body.
The body recognizes the damage done. So, it triggers the liver to send out LDL cholesterol to repair the damage. When you do this meal after meal - day after day, your body starts producing high amounts of LDL cholesterol to fix the continuous damage.
“Your levels of cholesterol are primarily dependent on your own body's production rather than the result of eating animal fats. Moreover, some forms of cholesterol are heart healthy.” ~ Harley Pasternak - author and personal trainer
Fortunately, when you remove the processed foods and the high sugar and focus your diet on rich fruits and vegetables, your body recognizes it doesn’t need to produce as much LDL cholesterol, and that number can plummet rapidly. We’ve seen numbers drop in as little as two weeks.
That’s why we recommend a lower carbohydrate diet planned with proper supplementation to help the body heal itself.
Want more info? Schedule a consultation with one of our professional trainers and stay tuned to our blog as we explore what you really need to do to lose weight and keep it off for good!