Emerging research points out that as a nation, we share a major misconception about the role fats play in our diet—especially when it comes to that dreaded word…. cholesterol! On a recent podcast from the website Living La Vida Low Carb (a great source for many insightful theories on nutrition), Dr. David Diamond, a research scientist who has been studying the brain for 35 years, discusses the basis of his controversial lecture, “How Bad Science and Big Business Created the Obesity Epidemic” (we will include a link at the bottom of this post for those who would like to check it out!).
(You might be wondering what a brain guy has to do with nutrition, but rest assured, we are getting there!!)
…. With all the conflicting research and misleading marketing schemes—it can be difficult to filter out fact from fiction…even for highly trained medical professionals like Dr. Diamond. When referencing his 2005 research publication on why saturated fat is bad for the brain, he admits:
“In 2005, basically I knew what everybody knew…fat is bad for you—it makes you fat, and saturated fat is really toxic…so that shows the level of ignorance I had…”
After being diagnosed with hypertriglyceridemia, Dr. Diamond began implementing what many people considered to be the “recommended” lifestyle changes—cut the fat—increase the exercise. However, as Dr. Diamond’s efforts fell short of the positive changes he’d been striving for—he found himself on the way to the pharmacy with a prescription for statin drugs (medicine used to lower cholesterol).
Diamond’s background in research served as a motivator to find an answer….if cutting the fat didn’t lower his cholesterol…what would?
To his surprise, Dr. Diamond began noticing a common link in all the research….sugar (aka carbohydrate consumption) was to blame—not fat.
Diamond notes feeling embarrassed that his former research had in fact failed to consider the interaction between fat and sugar. As Diamond began creating recommendations for his self—he went against the grain (pun intended)–increase the fat and reduce the carbs!
Before long, Diamond’s abnormal cholesterol levels (15x the healthy range) were restored to normal.
So….fat doesn’t make us fat? Saturated Fat doesn’t increase our chances of dying from a heart attack because of high cholesterol???
The answer is no….not without the carbs.
Although several elements can cause are bodies to store fat: stress, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance……excess intake of carbohydrates is a major cause for heart disease and the obesity epidemic. Why? Well—simply because carbs are what our body most readily stores as fat.
While your body requires fat, protein, even cholesterol to function properly—it does not need carbohydrates to operate efficiently. Actually….carbohydrates in excess may ultimately hinder your body from functioning at all!
With that in mind—in order to conquer the obesity epidemic, we must change the negative associations linked to both fat and cholesterol to instead focus on how to make these essential nutrients a positive aspect in our diets.
To learn more about fat and cholesterol, please watch Dr. Diamond’s lecture from the University of South Florida on YouTube by clicking this link: http://youtu.be/3vr-c8GeT34
If you are having questions…doubts…or are just seeking direction for how to implement positive changes to your diet—we are always here to help. Please give us a call at any time!
Wishing you health and happiness,