Reduce Your Bad LDL – Why Your Heart Will Thank You for Eating More Fat
When you hear the word “diet”, you probably picture a plate that’s free from fatty foods, because for the last few decades, we’ve been told that eating fat makes us fat.
But this thinking is now being challenged.
A team of Israeli, German, and American researchers has just published a study in the Journal of Hepatology that looks at the effects of a particular high-fat diet.
You might know it by its common name, the Mediterranean diet, and you might have expected us to be warning you away from it because of its high fat content, but we’re not. We are recommending it despite that, because science has shown that it’s much heart-healthier than a low-fat diet, and for quite a surprising reason.
The researchers recruited 278 overweight people, and specifically folks who carried a lot of fat around their midsections. The scientists chose this group because they thought that carrying a spare tire might be the biggest risk factor for both cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The subjects were put onto different diets for 18 months to see how each one measured up. They either followed a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet that featured low carbohydrates and 28 grams of walnuts per day. Both diets offered roughly the same number of calories.
The researchers used MRI scans to measure the different types of fat lurking inside the subject’s bodies, and they did this before, during, and after the 18-month dieting period. They also measured a wide variety of risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
At various points during these 18 months, they asked the subjects to either do some moderate physical exercise or do no exercise at all to see what difference this would make, if any.
After the 18 months, the researchers found that their subject’s visceral fat (the stuff around the abdomen) had dropped by 25 percent, and their hepatic fat (around their livers) was even better at 29 percent. They measured a healthy 11 percent loss of fat around their hearts, and a one to two percent loss of both pancreatic and muscle fat.
But it’s worth remembering that these were just averages that concealed the most important findings: that those who exercised lost more weight of all kinds than those who did not, especially abdominal fat. No surprises there then, but the most interesting result they found was that losing liver fat was more important to health than losing stomach fat.
They came to this conclusion because they found that the people who lost the most hepatic fat were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. They had lower cholesterol, lower glycated hemoglobin (a sign of insulin sensitivity), and healthier livers.
Which means that big bellies shouldn’t worry us as much as fat livers. Of course, it isn’t possible to know how much fat your liver is swathed in unless you happen to have an MRI scanner handy, but you can stay on the safe side by adopting the low-carb Mediterranean diet. Test subjects who did this were the ones who lost the most hepatic fat, which is why a Mediterranean diet is probably healthier than a standard low-fat diet.
Just to be clear, the folks on both diets lost almost the same amount of weight, but the Mediterranean dieters were clearly healthier when it came to their cardiovascular and metabolic risks.
This comes as a surprise when you consider that the Mediterranean diet already contained a fair amount of fat in the form of olive oil before the 28 grams of walnuts were added. They were eating quite a lot of fat, but this proves not only that it wasn’t doing them any harm, it was actually boosting their heart health.
Reduce Your Bad LDL – This Vegetarian Staple Lowers Bad Cholesterol 6%
It seems like madness, but the FDA wants to stop recommending this great source of complete protein that vegetarians have relied on for years.
So, we have to ask the question, what are they thinking?
Or are they even thinking?
We believe that the evidence in favor of this food source is so compelling that the FDA has to change its tune, and if it doesn’t, then clued-up people like you might be better off ignoring them!
Proteins are essential for growth and repair, and they’re built from amino acids. Our bodies can manufacture some amino acids for themselves, but there are nine of them that they can’t. These are the ones we must get from food sources, so science calls them essential amino acids. And if a protein source contains all of these essential aminos, then we call it a complete protein.
Soya is one such food, and that’s why vegans and vegetarians have come to rely on it. They’ve been experiencing the benefits of soya products like milk, cheese, tofu, miso, shoyu, tamari, edamame, for a very long time.
So, it seems strange that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should want to change its tune about soya. Up to now, it’s always included soya on its list of heart-healthy foods, but now it thinks it should be pulled.
Canadian scientists were intrigued about this change of heart. Could the FDA be right? They wondered…
They wanted to find out once and for all if soya still deserved its “heart-healthy” badge, so they set about finding out.
They decided to look at the 46 most robust studies they could find exploring soya’s effects on cholesterol, and these turned out to be the same 46 studies that the FDA had looked at to make their original recommendation.
Of these, the Canadian researchers left out three, which they said didn’t contain complete data.
Then they whittled the rest down to the 41 studies which specifically looked at how Soya affected LDL cholesterol, which is usually called bad cholesterol because it forms plaques that can build up on the walls of your arteries and block them.
The study subject’s LDL cholesterol scores ranged from 110 to 201 mg/dL (where 110 is considered high-normal and 201 is very high) so everyone was on the high side.
So, it looks like soya can lower your bad cholesterol by somewhere between three and four percent, even if you still eat meat. Not a bad result!
But the researchers say the benefits could be even greater if you totally cut the fatty red meats and deli meats from your diet and replace them with soya. When people in the study made the switch from meat to soya, the drop was a startling 3.6 – 6.0 percent!
So, the good news is, if you want to keep on eating meat, you can add in soya and still hit your bad cholesterol levels, or you can go the whole hog (so to speak!) for the best results.
So, if the FDA says soya no longer deserves a place on its list of heart-healthy foods, you’ll know better.
Reduce Your Bad LDL – Cardiovascular Disease – The Night Light Link
Obesity is as bad for your heart as smoking according to the American Heart Association, which had singled out excess weight as one of the biggest causes of coronary heart disease (CHD) as long ago as 1998.
CHD is the type where your arteries clog up with fat and cholesterol, making your heart work harder, sometimes to the point where it stops completely!
So bad was the risk of obesity to heart health (they said) that they put it on a par with smoking. They also said that losing just 5 to 10 percent of their excess body weight can help obese people to avoid this deadly form of heart disease.
So, you might be thinking, what the heck has the amount of light in my bedroom got to do with any of this?
A new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine has drawn a link between the amount of light that finds its way into your bedroom while you’re sleeping, your heart health and the pounds piling on.
If you live somewhere rural, then the chances are that falling asleep won’t be too hard for you compared to a city-dweller, because there won’t be as much light pollution bothering you. Or maybe not. Maybe you’re one of those people who has a TV in your bedroom, or you keep a light on.
The authors of this study were interested to find out how lighting conditions in the room where they slept might affect people, so they issued a questionnaire to 43,722 female volunteers to ask them about it. The form gave them a choice of no light, a small nightlight, light outside the bedroom, or light/television inside the bedroom.
The researchers also took a whole host of measurements, including weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and body mass index at both the start and end of the five-year study. This would tell them whether the lighting conditions in the subject’s bedrooms had an effect on weight gain or obesity.
And surprisingly, at the end of the study they did notice an effect. The women who gained the least weight slept in dark rooms, while those who gained the most slept with a source of light.
How big was the difference?
Compared with women who slept in the dark, those who slept with a light or television on in their rooms were 17 percent more likely to gain 5 kilograms or more in bodyweight, 13 percent more likely to gain 10 percent or more on the body-mass index scale, 22 percent more likely to be overweight, and 33 percent more likely to be obese.
Naturally, the more extra weight you’re carrying around, the more likely you are to suffer from health problems like cardiovascular disease, so suddenly, this study showed that sleeping with no lights in the room makes a lot of sense for your overall health.
You might think this doesn’t apply to you because you always get your eight hours of sleep in, but it seems not. The negative health effects were linked to the amount of light that sleepers were exposed to, regardless of how many hours they slept, the perceived quality of that sleep, how well they ate, or how physically active they were. The amount of weight they gained or lost seemed to be strongly tied to the amount of light in the room where they slept.
Surprisingly, this suggests that even if you are doing everything else that health professionals recommend, like eating well and exercising, but you sleep with artificial light close by or there’s light creeping in from outside, you could still be putting the brakes on your weight-loss efforts and storing up trouble for your heart.
Even small night-lights had an effect on weight, although the worst effects came when there was a light on inside the bedroom. The brighter the light at night, the worse the health effects.
So why might this be happening?
Scientists think that the reason might be chemical in nature. It’s well known that melatonin is released in our bodies when the sun goes down. It’s the hormone that tells our brains to sleep, so, it could be that even though your eyes are closed, any light at all could be shutting off the melatonin effect and knocking our 24-hour sleep cycle off track. Once this happens there’s a cascade of other hormonal effects that follows, with some of them increasing appetite and fat storage.
If you’re thinking that our brains shouldn’t be so easily influenced by a little bit of light, then remember that all the extra light we have now is only there because of fairly recent innovations in human history. Our ancestors slept and awoke when the sun told them to, and our bodies haven’t had enough time to cope with our new-fangled, brightly lit environments.
So, the takeaway message is that you should turn off the TV and any lights in the room where you sleep, get yourself some thick blinds or curtains, and if all else fails try wearing a sleep mask. The less light there is where you sleep, the better for your head, your heart and your beach body.
For more ideas to reduce your bad LDL, watch this video – 21 Ways To LOWER CHOLESTEROL Naturally | Lower Cholesterol Fast & Quickly
This post is from the Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy Program. It was created by Scott Davis. Because he once suffered from high cholesterol, so much so that he even had a severe heart attack. This is what essentially led him to finding healthier alternatives to conventional medication. Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy is a unique online program that provides you with all the information you need to regain control of your cholesterol levels and health, as a whole.
To find out more about this program, go to How to Reduce Your Bad LDL ?.
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