Diabetes and Cholesterol
We have had a hard few decades. Fat gave you cancer. Salt gave you heart attacks. Red meat gave you bowel cancer and eggs raised your cholesterol and fast-tracked your journey to the morgue.
Basically, everything that was natural and whole was attacked for 40 years.
At the same time; In came grain. In came sugar. In came margarine. In came ‘genetically modified foods’. In came ‘added hormones’. In came fast food.
"And we wonder why type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic levels."
However, there is now a gradual shift. Something that is gaining traction and picking up speed. Something that many people are getting behind, despite constant attacks on it's integrity and validity. Science.
Science is starting to take the offensive. For too long it has quietly watched as the food industry has performed their own trials and research and assaulted whole foods to further its own agenda. Science is standing up and saying “sorry, but this can’t continue. Fast food isn’t part of a healthy diet. Industrial amounts of grain usually fed to livestock to make them fat isn’t safe for human consumption, and no, unprocessed - whole foods won’t give us cancer”.
Unfortunately, the damage caused by these attacks is sustained and far-reaching. Governments are often open and susceptible to the lobbyists charged with lining the back pockets of rapacious politicians who lack the moral compass to help an old lady across the street, let alone stop a food manufacturer from the systemic poisoning of millions for the purpose of profit.
Things are changing though. In the case of low carbohydrate diets: there are now many randomised control trials (RCT), meta analysis, and dozens more non-randomised trials and studies lasting many years.
The evidence is clear that this way of eating is far more beneficial for us than a standard western diet, which is a major cause of chronic inflammation, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
The truth about cholesterol
I've recently heard of unethical and immoral behaviour coming out of the USA, where many are at the forefront of the attack from insurance, medical and food companies desperate for you to take more drugs and eat more processed foods. Pharmacies are now calling customers pushing statins due to pressure as they risk losing their ability to bill the insurance companies.
A quick note about statins:
Statins stop the body from producing the cholesterol that it is designed to produce. They literally stop one of our fundamental body processes from being able to function. The intelligent view on statins is that in the very limited arena where they appear to have some ‘benefit’ (men over 50 who have already had a heart attack), they ‘work’ by having anti-inflammatory properties and that the fact that they lower cholesterol (by stopping the body from being able to produce this vital substance) is a very unfortunate side effect. (Drug companies should work on developing something that has the anti-inflammatory benefit without this huge and damaging side effect – it’s called aspirin). Dr Zoe Harcombe
So, if you're under 50, simply ask your doctor or pharmacist to show you the evidence that a statin will benefit you - because there isn't any.
We must stop disparaging foods that we have been eating for hundreds of thousands of years. It makes no sense and it makes it a lot harder to listen (let alone believe) any type of guidance around diet and nutrition from states, companies or health professionals.
You may say "but Nathan, you always vocalise reducing or removing carbohydrates, and we've been eating this macronutrient for as long as we've been eating meat".
Very true - but if you remove all processed foods from your diet and return to a simple 'live off the land' lifestyle, the amount of carbs dramatically reduces. Mother nature gives us carbs but in minuscule amounts compared to modern food manufacturers. (grain is not living off the land, as you require sophisticated mechanisms to process it. To understand this process see the following link: https://science.howstuffworks.com/life/botany/wheat2.htm)
So, you can be safe in the knowledge that there is no scientific evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease. Butter is back - animal fat is back - cream and cheese is back (just don't eat an entire french baguette with it.
Should you be worried about cholesterol
There is still a lot of conflicting opinions around cholesterol and whether we have been vilifying the lipid unnecessarily. The growing evidence suggests that we have, and that this vital fat which is essential to life, has a story where LDL and HDL is neither good or bad - it's simply cholesterol.
(One thing to understand first is that HDL and LDL are not actually cholesterol, but rather they help transport cholesterol around the body.) But for the sake of argument..
HDL - High Density Lipoprotein (The good type)
This is known as the good cholesterol as the higher amounts we have, the better for us. It helps to remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood stream.
LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein (The bad type)
LDL makes up most of your bodies cholesterol and helps transport all fat molecules around the body. A high level of LDL is associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
The density is important
There is another type of lipoprotein which is known as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Growing evidence is suggesting this increases in VLDL is a driving cause of artery narrowing due to plaque buildup rather than the more buoyant LDL. To see in-depth information on this, I highly recommend watching Dr Paul Mason by clicking the following link: https://youtu.be/DXKJaQeteE0
Cholesterol and Diabetes
Depending on where you go or who you ask, you could well be told that diabetes raises 'bad' LDL cholesterol and decreases 'good' HDL cholesterol. Why is this? well, most institutions won't make the distinction between the different types of diabetes, and thus, place us all in the 'type 2' basket. Therefore, if you carry a lot of visceral fat and are obese, then you are increasing your chance of cardiovascular disease due to the increased levels of LDL.
If you have another type of diabetes and do not carry excess fat on your body then this is of course less likely.
Food and Cholesterol
Around 75% of cholesterol is made within the body, the remaining 25% is typically consumed from animal protein (this already gives us a big hint as to how important a role cholesterol has in our body).
Many websites and even medical professions will typically blame red meat and saturated fat for increased cholesterol levels. This mindset is outdated and does not reflect current research. In fact, to steal a line from Ancel Keys “Cholesterol in food has no impact on cholesterol in the blood and we’ve known that all along.”
Please consider: If you are a healthy non-diabetic and you eat a 'standard western diet' - which is comprised of 40 - 70% carbohydrates, and you don't exercise enough to burn that excess glucose off, it will store as fat. Fat on your body increases your risk of high cholesterol, which increases your risk of health complications.
If you are a diabetic and follow this diet, this process is sped-up - and you'll also have to contend with chronically high blood sugars.
Low-carb high fat + exercise = better lipid profile and lower blood sugars (proven in multiple studies).
Should I be worried about my cholesterol?
In short - no. If you are slim, exercise and don't shovel pizzas down your throat every other night then don't stress. As you get older (like everything else), your risk increases for cardiovascular disease (CVD) - but it's important not to listen to the fear mongering of insurance and medical companies. You need cholesterol to live. So eat right and be active - that has shown to keep your cholesterol at safe levels far better than any drug.
Believe the hypo