Margerine with transfatsIn looking over this mornings new postings on heart health, I am more and more suprised at how much misinformation is out there. So I ask the question, is dietary fat really the problem for high cholesterol? In controlling cholesterol, we also want to keep our triglycerides (blood fats) low. In the quoted article about blood pressure, fat, triglycerides and heart disease, there were some useful nuggets. However, from this chemist’s point of view, some of it seemed backwards.

Eating any meal high in carbohydrates not fats, especially ones that deluge your bloodstream with excess energy too quickly like refined flour or sugar, will cause your pancreas to flood your bloodstream with insulin. The result is that the insulin will turn your excess energy into fats, raising triglyceride levels. Healthy fats, on the other hand, slow digestion and infusion of energy into our blood stream and may not necessarily increase blood triglyceride levels. Thus, one of the important keys to keeping blood fats under control is to keep blood sugar steady.

It is also interesting to note that since the super low fat diet push, we have gotten fatter as a nation. Healthy fats supply necessary fatty acids such as omega-3 and, if eaten in moderation, that is, eating the right number of calories for our daily needs, I’ll bet that circulating triglyceride levels would NOT increase. In fact we’ll be more satisfied and tend to eat les and stay leaner. There are a number of new studies that show this.

To me, vilifying dietary fats as the culprit to atherosclerosis is just plain incorrect.

Transfats on the other hand should be avoided at all costs. It’s just poison. It causes inflammation, clogging of the arteries, and makes you fatter. It is found in a huge number of processed foods. Read the labels: partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated anything is most likely not good for you. The reason why hydrogenation is done is that it makes the fat go from liquid to “solid”, like oil to margerine. It also doesn’t go rancid as quickly. Convenient for food manufacturers but deadly to us.

The other key to heart health is minimizing inflammation. After the obvious unhealthy habits are dealt with, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, artificial ingredients, stress, lack of sleep or exercise, and obesity, inflammation should subside. If not, there are further steps one can take.

The other point that seems backwards to me is the claim that the risk is your high cholesterol (this point seems to pervade the literature, even on the Mayo clinic site as well as AHA and AMA). Actually, unless you have familial hypercholestemia, it is your habits or lifestyle that cause the high cholesterol, and thus the habits/lifestyle are the risk factors. Not that fact that cholesterol is high, which is your body’s response to what you do to it.

By LL Woodard, Contributing writer Understanding how diet, high blood pressure and high cholesterol relate to heart health can help you make healthier lifestyle choices. Those three seemingly unrelated circumstances can work separately or in tandem to Original article at wptz news

In summary, it isn’t necessarily dietary fat that shoots up blood fat, any food can do it, especially refined carbohydrates AND it isn’t the high cholesterol that’s the risk, it’s the cause of the high cholesterol that’s the risk. So, in my opinion, the answer to the question “is dietary fat really the problem for high cholesterol?”, would be a definite NO for me. Do you have a different opinion? Please leave a comment or “like” this article if you enjoyed it.