Trimming carbs lowers cholesterol

May 31, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition Topics in the News

Trimming carbs lowers cholesterol
Study findings from researchers at Children�s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in California have found that cutting carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbohydrates, results in healthy improvements in blood fat levels, even without any weight loss.

To investigate whether moderate reduction in carbohydrate intake might affect cholesterol levels, researchers had a group of 178 overweight men eat a standard diet including 54 percent energy intake from carbohydrates for one week.

The men were then randomly assigned to continue the same diet, or switch to a 39 percent carbohydrate diet, or a 26 percent carb diet for three weeks. For an additional five weeks, men ate a similar diet but their calorie intakes were reduced to produce weight loss. In the final four weeks of the study, their energy intake was adjusted for weight stabilization.

Compared to the men who stayed on the standard diet, those with the lowest carb intake showed reductions in harmful triglycerides and \"bad� LDLcholesterol levels. They also enjoyed an increase in the ratio of \"good\" HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol levels, and other improvements in their blood fat profile.

These healthy changes were seen whether or not the men were eating less saturated fat, and whether or not they lost weight.

Researchers now believe carbohydrates, especially simple sugars or refined grains, can cause unhealthy changes in blood fats, by causing fat to collect in the liver, eventually leading to increased fat levels in the blood.

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.