The only problem I have with the list of ways to cut triglycerides is that I do the opposite for several of them, and it worked better. Meanwhile, it is exactly what I was told would happen when I started low carb, not by my doctors ( they prophesied doom ), but by the authors of the books I read.
When I started, I was only concerned about weight loss, because as a heart patient at 350 lbs, that was my # 1 concern. Getting healthier inside was just a side benefit. Going back and re-reading the books, everything that happened to me was explained, and they said it would happen exactly as they said it would.
What is confusing is that with no effort at all, they got 100 % of the results they said would happen, and when following my doctor's advice ( admittedly struggling with diet ), I got very small improvements. Many of the suggestions are good no matter what diet, stop eating trans fats, and limit alcohol and sugar consumption, as well as lose weight, and exercise regularly. These I have no issue with.
What bothers me, is listening to people talk about how 8 items will make all the difference, and the success rate of people following ( or attempting to follow ) this plan does not yield the results one is looking for. Some people see improvements in various aspects of their cholesterol numbers, so their is merit to some of the ideas, but when you don't get exactly what you want following this plan, and another does so, one has to stop and ask "why?"
The two that I don't follow are:
1 ) Cut back on calories
2 ) 300 mg cholesterol
I think that if these statements are given as advice, at the very least they should be amended to say * unless you are following a controlled carb diet, especially #2.
1 ) I am eating 2,496 calories today at 192 lbs. I didn't cut back on calories, except the ones I had binges on from eating carbs. I will admit that I may be lower on average now than when I was starting, but I am also 170 lbs lighter, so to lose weight I should have to eat about 1/2 the calories, if " a calorie is a calorie ". I do work out more, 7 days a week 45-60 minutes a day, but not enough to burn all these calories. The calories have to go somewhere, but I think the idea of cutting calories tends to end up with undernourishment. Even here on SP almost every woman ends up in the 1200-1550 range, and tries to stick to 1200-1250. This idea of cutting calories is harmful, I think, in practice, even if unintended.
2 ) I eat about 1,500 mg cholesterol a day. 4 XL eggs, 2 T butter, and over a lb of meat every day, and my cholesterol is 103, HDL 51, LDL is up to 37 ( when I upped saturated fats ), and my triglycerides are in the 70's. I just do not see ANY link between consumed cholesterol, and a rise in total cholesterol, or triglycerides.
I didn't say anything about following/ not following " eating healthier fats ", because I think this is an arbitrary goal. I eat more saturated fats than suggested, and 6 months after doing so ( recommended by Gary Taubes ), my triglycerides jumped from 24 to 37. That along with a much better triglyceride/HDL ratio have cut back on my risk of stroke.
So, while my way of eating may not be desirable, or recommended for anyone else, it does tend to bring up some questions that need to be answered. If I can drop 80 points on cholesterol, and 300 points from my triglycerides, and eat 5-6X the cholesterol to do so, isn't that a sign that maybe there is some flaw in advice that they are stating as fact? At the very least we should explain how it is possible, and see why, so we may find an alternative to cutting cholesterol as the only way. Whereas trans fats, and sugars are not natural substances, cholesterol is, and we may wish to find out why cholesterol, triglycerides, and obesity are soaring in this country, and come up with better answers than cut cholesterol, and cut fat. Many people eat high fat, high cholesterol, and are skinny, and healthy. Something else is a factor here.
I am not saying that one should eat that way ( high cholesterol/high fat ), but if one can be healthy doing so, then it may be those traits COMBINED with another one that is a problem.
For me, I think it was carbs, but only some types of carbs. I handle vegetables, and low glycemic fruits okay, as well as beans, nuts etc., so it isn't that carbs are bad, which is what this thread is all about. Carbs are a part of life. We all eat them. I think that if we ate better carbs from birth, no one would ever need to do a low carb diet. It is a corrective diet, to reverse a lifetime of poor eating.
The problem is processed, and sugary carbs, but we just can't get past the knee-jerk reaction of cutting fat, and cholesterol when they are a problem. I'm fat, so eat less fat.. yet even in the link, it states that excess calories are converted to triglyceride. This done by Insulin, and is bodyfat. It does this, whether you ate high fat, high carb, or high protein. Excess calories are a problem, not fat. With carbohydrates being the most altered foods we eat, they tend to be the foods that are most likely to cause cravings, or binges ( excess calories ahead! ).
In their natural state, I don't think any of the macros are unhealthy. Fats, carbs, or protein. The problem is, we don't get them this way. Our chicken is soaked in 15 % salt solution, our meats come as processed deli meats, and sugar is added to everything to make up for the fact that without fat, it tastes terrible. We add cheeses and sauces to make these low fat foods edible, and that is the big problem here. We started low fat, and people realized the food was horrible, and they stopped buying it. So manufacturers found ways to make it taste better. They weren't healthy, but they were low fat, and they were tastier.
So we eat those foods, and become unhealthy and sick as a nation, and 40 years later we eat 7 % less fat on average, but are fatter. We go to our doctor, and the recommendation is to cut fat more. This means more of those carbs, since protein is pretty much set at 20-25 %. So we switched 7 % of our diet, from fat to carbs, and had an obesity epidemic, and disease increases, as well as higher cholesterol, and triglycerides when we cut cholesterol in the diet, and the answer is to cut even more?
I think they have good intentions, but this makes NO sense at all. What they should do is re-test every theory they have on nutrition, and pair a low carb, and a low fat scientist together, and explore every aspect. Then when they have exhausted their questions, we can actually trust the findings they publish. Explain how a person can eat 1500 mg of cholesterol, and have low cholesterol, and in what cases this is possible. Then test the opposite. Will reducing my cholesterol below 300 mg, drop it under 103? Can a doctor make me that promise? If not, then it isn't the cause of cholesterol dropping, or triglycerides either, unless they can promise mine will drop below 70. If they can't give me any results, why should I cut 80 % of my cholesterol intake?
*** Obviously, for now, you should follow the accepted guidelines as posted, but don't just think that we KNOW what works. The low rate of success we have as a nation is proof that we don't. More questions need to be asked, AND answered. When we stop asking questions, and just accept these guidelines, we stop improving, and end up sick and obese. ***
So set some goals, and hopefully you reach them following these guidelines. Many have. If however, you are two years down the road, with poor reults, it is time to re-evaluate what works for you, with your doctor, and if they tell you that more of the same is the answer, be firm, and tell them that it isn't working, and you need another option. It might scare you to find out that they do not have another option. They are just repeating words on a page.
"We can't solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them "
- Albert Einstein
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
- Henry Ford
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