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Good Fats, Bad Fats and the Cholesterol Myth

Good Fats, Bad Fats and the Cholesterol Myth

The theory that elevated cholesterol and excessive fat cause heart disease is being questioned by many integrative clinicians. The idea that the best diet for preventing heart disease is a low saturated fat diet, high in carbohydrates is now not universally supported by clinical trials. The concept of “bad ” and “good” cholesterol is becoming outdated. It is becoming more apparent that knowing whether a particular dominating pattern of small, dense, inflammatory cholesterol particles are present in the blood than just the total cholesterol or the ratio of total cholesterol to LDL cholesterol. The ratio of triglyceride/HDL may be more important for assessing cardiovascular risk than cholesterol/LDL ratio. Scientists have identified over 100 risk factors for heart disease over the past 30 years. Also, a key factor in assessing the potential for heart disease is genotyping. We all inherit genes from both parents. This nascent technology will play a major role is assessing a person genetic risk for developing heart disease because cholesterol metabolism has a strong genetic component and certain diets can help or hinder a particular inherited genetic pattern.

A major contributor to heart disease is refined sugars and refined carbohydrates (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, etc.). Sugar may be considered more dangerous to your heart than fat. By reducing refined sugars you automatically reduce triglycerides in your blood. Bacon fat (50% of bacon fat is monounsaturated, 10% polyunsaturated and 40% saturated), eggs, butter and cream are not the enemies of the American diet. Trans fat, partially hydrogenated fats, deep-frying in poor quality fats, are the problem. Cholesterol is not the enemy. Our bodies must have cholesterol to survive. Generally speaking, good fat does not cause heart disease; bad sugars and bad fats contribute to heart disease and its consequences.

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