I recently came across two articles that I think you should read.
The first is over on Dr. William Davis’s blog, The Heart Scan. Dr. Davis reviews a study demonstrating that consumption of excess carbohydrate can raise cholesterol.
Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know that normal LDL cholesterol isn’t a risk factor for heart disease, right? So I am generally not concerned with what does or doesn’t raise cholesterol. However, there is a type of cholesterol that is a significant risk factor for heart disease: small, dense LDL cholesterol.
Small, dense LDL particles are more likely to become oxidized, and as I have explained in How to Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease, oxidized LDL is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease we know of.
Dr. Davis clearly explains how eating too many carbs can increase your levels of small, dense LDL and he also explains why so many doctors and researchers don’t make this crucial connection. Check out the full article here.
The second article is on Dr. Barry Groves’ Second Opinions blog. He reviews a study which links consumption of linoleic acid to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis) and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Linoleic acid is an omega-6 (n-6) essential fatty acid. “Essential” in this context means that humans can’t make it internally and need to eat it in the diet. However, we only need a tiny amount – about a teaspoonful per day – and eating too much of it can cause serious problems. Eating too much linoleic acid dramatically increases oxidized LDL cholesterol levels, which as I just explained in the last section significantly elevates our risk of heart disease. Linoleic acid is also pro-inflammatory, and inflammation is a major contributor to modern diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and, you guessed it, Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Tragically, linoleic acid has become one of the primary sources of calories in the American diet. Vegetable oils containing linoleic acid (such as soybean, corn, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed) are found in nearly all packaged and processed foods and all foods cooked in a restaurant. Almost all fried foods are extremely high in linoleic acid.
Is it any wonder, then, that Irritable Bowel Syndrome has reached such epidemic proportions? It is now the #2 leading cause for people missing work, behind only the common cold. It affects millions of people in the U.S. and abroad. There is no known “cure”, and the medications prescribed for it are largely ineffective.
This is yet another example of how toxic and harmful our modern diets are. If you want to avoid these conditions, eat traditional, saturated fats like butter, lard and coconut oil instead of industrially-processed vegetable oils. You’ll feel better, and you’ll enjoy your food a lot more too!