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It’s Excess Carbohydrates in the Diet that Will Kill You, Not Red Meat and Fat

As we discussed last time, yet another study has announced that eating red meat will shorten your lifespan and increase your chances of disease. This is based on data obtained from observational studies, which are far from conclusive. The dangerous myth that most fats are bad and all carbohydrates are healthy is as strong as ever.

Meanwhile, controlled experiments reveal the many benefits of a diet high in proteins and low in carbohydrates. They show that in the absence of high carbohydrate foods, risk factors for disease diminish and give the body an opportunity to heal.

Reducing or eliminating carbohydrates can reduce your risk of heart disease, reverse the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, alleviate depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions, prevent and aid in the recovery from alcoholism and addictions of all kinds, and even stop or prevent cancerous tumor growth.

Now, after our extensive discussion on this topic previously, it may seem like I’m beating a dead horse here. But every time these types of misleading studies make the headlines it reinforces the lie that you shouldn’t eat meat and fat and becomes more deeply engrained in not only the belief system of individuals, but our society as a whole.

Ultimately, it is these lies that are perpetuating the rise in so many degenerative health conditions that plague the population today. It is crucial to repeat the message frequently that meat and fat should be a component of your diet every day.

Low-Carbohydrate Diets Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk

The message behind cholesterol numbers goes beyond HDL (“good”) cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and total cholesterol numbers. Calling LDL “bad” when you couldn’t live without it is probably a bit of a misnomer. LDL exists in your body as either large, buoyant particles or small, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles.

A high number of VLDL is accompanied by low HDL and high triglycerides. VLDL has been shown to increase the risk of clogged arteries.

Large LDL particles help heal damaged vessels. High HDL and low triglycerides indicate a greater amount of this type, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

Studies have shown that on low-fat diets VLDL increases, but it decreases on low-carbohydrate diets. Substituting fat for carbohydrates generally improves cardiovascular risk factors.

Researchers in this field believe that if dietary fat-phobia is made a thing of the past, the consumption of excess carbohydrates will decrease, diet-related health issues will improve, and less medication will be necessary.

A Carbohydrate-Restricted Diet Prevents or Reverses Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a blanket term that includes a list of risk factors that are linked to insulin resistance and heart disease. These risk factors include obesity, high fasting blood sugar, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. If you have three or more of these issues, you are considered to have metabolic syndrome and an increased risk of disease.

The health problems that make up metabolic syndrome are often relieved by following a low-carbohydrate diet. In a recent study, 40 subjects with a high number of VLDL were split into two groups and observed for 12 weeks. Each followed a low-calorie diet. One group restricted carbs, while the other group restricted fats.

The carb-restricted group consumed a diet that was three times higher in saturated fats than the low-fat group and enjoyed more health improvements, including reduced glucose and insulin concentrations, lowered insulin sensitivity, weight loss, fat loss, lower triglycerides, and higher HDL.

A High-Protein, Low-Carb Diet Lowers Cancer Risk

Research points to the benefits of a very low carbohydrate diet for cancer prevention and treatment. When you eat carbohydrates, your body converts them into glucose (sugar). Tumor cells thrive in the presence of glucose, but are not able to use much in the way of fatty acids.

High-carbohydrate meals raise insulin levels that support tumor growth. This type of meal is common in the standard American diet and other diets high in grains and sugar.

When blood sugar and insulin levels drop, the body produces ketone bodies as an alternative energy source. This has been shown to work against tumor cell growth.

Recent studies have shown that a high-protein, low-carb diet can be beneficial for those who are at risk for breast cancer. A study using two groups of mice, both genetically predisposed to breast cancer, put one group on a high-carb diet and the other on a low-carb diet. Of those on the high-carb diet, 70% died of cancer while only 30% of the low-carb mice developed cancer–and they lived longer.

A Low-Carb Diet is Better for Mental Health

A diet that is high in carbohydrates disrupts and depletes important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, endorphins/enkephalins and GABA that regulate our emotional states, that can result in anxiety disorders, depression, addiction, alcoholism, OCD, attention deficit, hyperactivity, and much more.

Carbohydrates are void of the nutrients needed for production and function of neurotransmitters, while a diet rich in animal protein and fat promotes good mental health.

Since the war against dietary fat began, rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, addiction, anxiety disorders and other mental health conditions have continued to increase. Many studies point in the direction of excess carbohydrates in the diet as a major cause of these issues.

A healthy diet consists of organic, grass-fed red meat, white meat, fish, eggs, low-starch vegetables and a small amount of nuts, seeds and fruits, like that found in the Paleolithic diet.

If you find it difficult to eliminate the sugar and carbohydrates from your diet, because of overwhelming cravings, then you may find the help you need in, How to Break Your Sugar Addiction Today.

Observational studies, are useful first steps in the process of finding the causes of disease. They should not, however, be the final steps. Studies that take place in controlled environments are effective ways to determine how specific nutrients affect health.

Resources:

LeCheminant, James D., Bryan K. Smith, Eric C. Westman, Mary C. Vernon, and Joseph E. Donnelly. “Comparison of a Reduced Carbohydrate and Reduced Fat Diet for LDL, HDL, and VLDL Subclasses during 9-months of Weight Maintenance Subsequent to Weight Loss.” Lipids in Health and Disease 9.1 (2010): 54. Print.

Feinman, Richard, and Jeff Volek. “Carbohydrate Restriction as the Default Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome.” Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal 42.4 (2008): 256-63. Print.

Volek, Jeff S., Stephen D. Phinney, et al. “Carbohydrate Restriction Has a More Favorable Impact on the Metabolic Syndrome than a Low Fat Diet.” Lipids 44.4 (2009): 297-309. Print.

Seneff, S., G. Wainwright, and L. Mascitelli. “Is the Metabolic Syndrome Caused by a High Fructose, and Relatively Low Fat, Low Cholesterol Diet?” AMS 7.1 (2011): 8-20. Print.

Klement, RJ, and U. Kammerer. “Is There a Role for Carbohydrate Restriction in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer?” Nutrition and Metabolism 26.8 (2011): 75. Print.

American Association for Cancer Research. “Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may reduce both tumor growth rates and cancer risk.” ScienceDaily, 14 Jun. 2011. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.

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