Healthy Eating

Health Talk – What drives weight gain, type II diabetes and fatty liver

The Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre is holding a health talk on Saturday 6 December 2014! A day where you can come along and find out what treatments are available and how they can help you.  The clinic will be open from 10am til 12pm.

There will be one free health talk on the day:

10.30am – Fiona Kane, Clinical Nutritionist presenting: What drives weight gain, diabetes type II and fatty liver

This talk will go for approx 1 hour including question time.

There will also be giveaways on the day so don’t miss out!

When: Open on Saturday, 6 December 2014, 10am til 12pm, talk at 10.30am

Where:1 Lemko Place front
Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre
1 Lemko Place (corner Borec Rd)
PENRITH NSW 2750

Phone: 47 222 111

Entrance off Lemko Place, limited parking available on site with plenty of street parking.

Map can be found here: http://www.informedhealth.com.au/Contact-Us.php

 

Everything in Moderation, right?

If I had a dollar for every time I have heard this line, I would be very wealthy by now! As a Clinical Nutritionist, every day people say this to me, especially at functions involving food, whilst tucking into the cheese or mud cake!

It is a junk food advertising guru’s favourite line – I actually think the junk food industry’s very clever marketing campaigns have taught us to use this line so we don’t feel guilty about eating their products! If you don’t believe me, read or watch any interview done with food industry representatives for fast food, junk food, soft drink companies and you will realise it is their clever language! Now they have your friends, co-workers and health experts using it to make eating junk food OK. If that is not clever marketing – I don’t know what is!!!

Most of us are guilty of using this line, it is really only justifying our current behaviour! In my experience it means this “I am not prepared to change, and therefore, what I already do is moderation, so I don’t need to change”. It is a way you get to keep doing what you are doing and not have to feel bad about it! Not having to take responsibility for your current state of health. That muffin, bag of lollies, chocolate bar, doughnut or sugary drink you like to have every day is moderation, surely? I would encourage you to think again.

The word “everything” casts a very wide net; I don’t agree that “everything” is OK to eat. For example sugar drives obesity and disease such as type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even cancer, is there really a safe amount?

What is the definition of moderation anyway? It is “the avoidance of excess or extremes”. Who defines what is excessive or extreme? Did you know that a recent study of about 28,500 people over 15 years published in Diabetologia found that all it takes is one can of sugar sweetened soda/soft drink per day to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by 22%!

Would you consider one can of soft drink a day to be extreme? In my experience, most people would consider it to be “moderation”! Don’t think that diet soft drinks are any better; the chemicals in those can have many side-effects one of which is cravings for more sugar!

I suppose it is up to the individual. If you want to eat “everything in moderation”, think about what that really means. Are you happy, healthy and full of energy or are you struggling with your health, motivation and energy? This will give you a clue as to whether your definition of “moderation” is working for you!

Ultimately it is your choice, do you want health in moderation? Or do you want disease in moderation? I personally want health in abundance!

You ought to be congratulated? Really?

No, not if you are feeding margarine to your family! Those ads drive me nuts, especially the cute little kids explaining why their mum has changed them from “unhealthy” butter to “healthy” margarine. Advertisers know how to make parents feel good about healthy choices, it is a shame they don’t actually promote healthy choices!

Butter

Eye experts are getting it right, many are warning their patients against eating margarine, because of the vegetable oil in it – which they believe speed up macular degeneration, cardiologists advise their patients the complete opposite, even though some cardiologists have reviewed the evidence; many are still caught up in old beliefs about cholesterol and heart disease, go to Cholesterol, what you need to know.

Dr Paul Beaumont, founding Director of the Macular Disease Foundation Australia, nine years ago warned those with a genetic risk of getting macular degeneration to stop eating anything with vegetable oil in it – eg. margarine. Even though there was an enormous backlash at the time, there have now been multiple studies supporting his recommendations, so his  advice remains the same. “Whilst there’s a cloud of suspicion over vegetable oil, they’re best to avoid it, and have a scraping of butter,” Dr Beaumont said.

Of course we are supposed to believe that vegetable oils are bad for your eyes but healthy for your heart! Cardiovascular Disease is a disease of inflammation. Nasty fats such as vegetable oils, oxidised oils/hyrogenated oils cause inflammation – they drive disease!

There is a new book out on the dangers of vegetable oil “Toxic Oil – why vegetable oil will kill you & how to save yourself” by David Gillespie. At the moment many dieticians are advising the public to ignore this book, after all David is not qualified in health, he is a lawyer! The same argument they used when he started telling us rightly about the dangers of sugar/fructose in his book “Sweet Poison”.

I have to disagree, as a lawyer he knows how to gather information and examine it, looking for facts, looking for proof, that is exactly what he does! The problem with being “qualified” is that many are afraid to really look at the truth let alone tell it! They quote the same old tired lines, and most are influenced/sponsored by food companies in one way or another! Who wants to admit that their bad advice is harming people?

I have received my copy of Toxic Oil and although I haven’t read it yet, I am happy to support David in his quest to change the way we think about food and get people to start eating real food again, avoiding sugar and vegetable oil! My advice as a Clinical Nutritionist, start eating real butter and use coconut oil, stay away from margarine!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or www.informedhealth.com.au

Being slim = good health, right?

I see people make this assumption all the time, and they are wrong. Slim does not automatically mean good health!

Don’t get me wrong, being slim is good for your health (as long as you are a healthy weight and you are eating well). I know that in my life, when I am slim, I feel better, I have more energy and overall am in better health.

What is frustrating, is seeing slim people judge overweight people, blaming them for being overweight, when they eat much the same diet. There is an assumption that overweight people are unhealthy but slim people are examples of wonderful health. The other assumption is that overweight people’s issues are caused by “glutton and sloth”, this is far from the truth.

Dr Robert Lustig does a good job of dispelling this myth in his latest book “Fat Chance – the bitter truth about sugar”. Here is an excerpt from the book, (page 7): “Being thin is not a safeguard against metabolic disease or early death. Up to 40 percent of normal-weight individuals harbor insulin resistance – a sign of chronic metabolic disease – which will likely shorten their life expectancy. Of those, 20 percent demonstrate liver fat on an MRI of the abdomen. Liver fat, irrespective of body fat has been shown to be a major risk factor in the development of diabetes”.

As I have explained before, you really are what you eat. The body continually breaks down and renews itself, making new skin cells, new blood cells, new bone etc. To do this well, it requires good quality building materials, especiall good quality fat and protein, along with many vitamins and minerals etc. Before you judge anyone else, have a look at your own diet, are you eating foods that nourish your body and provide great building blocks or are you eating rubbish?

Some foods are what I like to call nutrient foods, they supply energy and wonderful building blocks for the body eg. vegetables, quality meat, coconut oil, organic blocked butter, avocado etc. Some “foods” are anti-nutrients, they add loads of sugar and nasty hydrogenated fats/vegetable oil to the body – all of which are inflammatory and cause harm to the body. This kind of “food” takes important nutrients from the body and puts the body under great stress. Eg. most fast food, frozen dinners, confectionary, biscuits, cereals, bread, cakes, muffins, chocolates, margarine, sugary drinks including soft drinks, fruit juice, flavoured milk, flavoured iced tea  etc. If you regularly eat these foods you will always be under-nourished and not have quality building blocks for your body to use! This will ultimately lead to aging and many inflammatory diseases such as heart disease and dementia!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or www.informedhealth.com.au

Childhood Obesity – are parents to blame?

This week I had a high school student attend the clinic to interview me for a school assignment. One of the questions was about how much parents are to blame or if parents are to blame for the obesity of their children. It really got me thinking.

I will admit here straight away that I am not a parent and this makes me a “perfect parent” because the only perfect parent that exists is the one in your mind before you actually have kids! Of course, once you have kids you learn that “perfect parents” and “perfect kids” do not exist. It is the real world and we all have strengths and flaws!  Oprah’s mentor Maya Angelou’s famous quote “when you know better you do better” is absolutely true. Except for a small number of people, most parents actually do their best.

It is not unusual now for there to be three to four generations in a family who have not been taught how to shop and how to cook. In my experience most people are not taught to be “in tune” with their body. Eating is often followed by feeling bloated, sick, tired etc and this is considered normal.

Our bodies continually break down and rebuild themselves, new blood cells, new bone etc. For this to work well, the body needs a continued supply of good quality “building materials” and “energy”. Not many people truly comprehend that you really are what you eat!

When parents go looking for answers, they find a whole bunch of food company sponsored information that does little to help, sometimes much to harm. How can you blame parents for getting it wrong if they are been given bad advice from doctors, dieticians and other health professionals?

Then we have the media, besides all of the usual tv commercials for toxic “foods” that infuriate me such as “you ought to be congratulated” for feeding your kids toxic margarine! There are also all of the movies, tv shows and reality weight loss or cooking tv shows etc, where you constantly fed really bad information. You often hear lines like “we are cooking a low fat healthy meal” or “this is bad for you or fattening because of all the fat”. It seems that if you hear the same message enough, it becomes the “truth” whether it is based in fact or not.

Or maybe they look to the Heart Foundation which is unfortunately a BIG mistake as of course they don’t consider sugar at all when they “tick” foods for money, that ensures they can tick that breakfast cereal that is jam packed with sugar!

Every so often you will see someone giving great advice such as, Dr Robert Lustig and David Gillespie advising people on the dangers of sugar (particularly fructose) but of course they are usually drowned out by the junk food sponsored dietician explaining that they are wrong and of course we all know that sugar is part of a healthy “balanced” diet!!!

No wonder parents are so confused, they either don’t know why they should care about these things, or get fed really bad advice! I am currently reading “Fat Chance – The bitter truth about sugar” by Dr Robert Lustig, as he explains in this book, obesity is much more complicated than most of us understand. It is not simply about calories in calories out. Not all calories are the same and sugar, particularly fructose is a major cause for concern. Since the war on fat in food started approx 40 years ago we have replaced the fat with sugar/fructose in our foods resulting in increased obesity and diabetes.

Yes parents do need to set a good example, you can’t complain that your child eats too many chips or too much fast food when you supply it or when you eat it yourself! Though I really feel for parents today trying to navigate a “healthy” diet and life for themselves and their family when the overwhelming message is that obesity is about “gluttony and sloth”, therefore blame and shame! We need to teach ourselves and our kids to listen to your body, and eat the way nature intended, real foods that nourish and energise you, with fat and all!

What are your experiences?

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or www.informedhealth.com.au

FREE WEIGHT LOSS SEMINAR

Still recovering from Easter? Too many bunnies and buns?

Have you tried every Diet and still Overweight? Not able to Lose Weight or Re-Gain it every time – plus more?

Eat healthy and exercise but still no success?

OVER the Diet Merry-Go-Round?

Well Jump Off and GET REAL ANSWERS!

 

FREE WEIGHT LOSS SEMINAR


Presented by: Fiona Kane and Rachel Shaw, Clinical Nutritionists from Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre and

Darren Pereira, Personal Trainer from InPursuit Personal Training

Everyone is welcome!

Book Now:  (02) 47 222 111

 

Details:
When: Saturday, 13 April 2013, 9.30am to 11.00am
Where: Penrith Cricket Club,
Station Street (just off Jamison Road – next door to the Football Stadium), Penrith  NSW  2750
 

There is so much mixed information on weight loss and health! What do you believe?

Join us for an eye opening take on weight loss. This seminar is FREE and presented by two Clinical Nutritionists and a Personal Trainer.

Mythbusting: common diet myths and facts and how to control your weight loss hormones.

You will learn the truth about low carb, low fat and Paleo!

Is sugar the enemy or fat?

Find out what you can do right now to achieve healthy weight loss!

There will be giveaways and prizes on the day too!

Taking the time to attend this event will be an investment in your health!

Cholesterol – one number to indicate health – maybe not…..

There is one number apparently more than others which appears to be treated as most important when measuring our level of health – our cholesterol number. I often hear comments like “I am healthy because I have no or low cholesterol”. I find it is often used as an excuse to avoid changing unhealthy habits. People making these comments are often quite overweight or have other health problems but think they are healthy because of their cholesterol number!

I am healthy – the Doctor told me I don’t have cholesterol!

I recently saw a BBC documentary where a woman who was morbidly obese (over 150kg) said “I’m OK, my health has not been affected by my weight – my cholesterol is normal”.  Therefore, according to her, she didn’t need to do anything! This rang alarm bells for me – how many people believe it?

Cholesterol is essential in the body, it makes hormones, insulates neurons, is part of the structure of every cell in the body, produces bile to digest fats, helps metabolise important fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D. (Read my previous posts about cholesterol for more information).

There are two main types of cholesterol that can cause you problems, oxidised cholesterol and certain types of LDLs.

Your weight, waist size, diet, blood sugar levels and levels of inflammation all play a big factor in whether or not you have these types of damaging cholesterol. What also matters is how you feel, are you energised, happy or tired, grumpy and “not quite right”? Don’t let a number stop you from listening to your body!

Diets high in carbohydrates (confectionary, refined foods and grains eg. sweets, crackers, bread, pasta) lead to inflammation. It is important to eat a diet with adequate protein, fat and lots of colourful vegetables for good health. Don’t avoid fat and don’t avoid eggs!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or www.informedhealth.com.au.

Cholesterol, what you need to know – Part 5

Fats and Oils

Many people in their attempts to eat a low fat diet are not eating enough essential oils. Every cell in your body requires essential oils (omega 3), especially your brain. These omega 3s are also anti-inflammatory – all disease processes are inflammatory so it is very important to consume anti-inflammatory foods. They are called essential fatty acids because the body cannot make them – you must include them in your diet!

Ways to include healthy fats in the diet

The main essential fat you need in the diet is omega 3 fatty acids - available in fresh fish (eg mackerel, salmon, herring), cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, raw unsalted nuts and seeds (walnuts, pecans, pepitas etc), tahini and avocado. Add extra virgin cold pressed olive oil to your salads and vegetables (it makes a lovely salad dressing – you can also add fresh lemon or tahini and basil).

For cooking use cold pressed extra virgin olive oil; don’t heat it up just coat the food with it before you place the food into pan. Be careful, olive oil has a low burning point and will flame easily at high temperatures. Coconut oil is also better for cooking at high temperatures (food will taste like coconut). Butter is excellent for cooking too (real unsalted block butter).

Plant sterols can lower cholesterol levels

They are found naturally in plant foods including nuts, seeds, legumes (peas, beans, lentils), fruit and vegetables. Some margarine has concentrated plant sterols added. Margarines enriched with plant sterols may help lower LDL cholesterol but do not treat the cause of the elevated cholesterol. They also often contain trans fats and other unnatural chemicals that can cause inflammation so are not a good long term solution. These sterol margarines only affect cholesterol absorption from the diet; they have no effect on the cholesterol your body makes. Remember it is not the cholesterol number that matters, it is the oxidised cholesterol – anything that increases inflammation will cause oxidation.

Eggs

Eggs are very nutritious and should be part of a healthy balanced diet. They contain good quality protein and omega-3, plus 10 vitamins and minerals. Boiled or poached is best, always cook eggs at a low temperature. The dietary cholesterol in eggs has no effect on blood cholesterol.

 

Are you taking cholesterol lowering medication?

Most cholesterol lowering medications affect only the cholesterol you make and therefore have no effect on the cholesterol that you eat. It is important to note that high cholesterol is not caused by a deficiency in statin drugs! They do not address the cause of the inflammation which is the real concern in cardiovascular disease.

Did you know that some commonly prescribed cholesterol medications may cause depletion of co-enzyme Q10 in the body? Co-enzyme Q10 is essential to cardiovascular health, it is a very important antioxidant for the heart (remember you need antioxidants to stop your body from making oxidised HDL’s LDL’s (the dangerous cholesterol). The highest concentrations are found in the heart where its action is vital to healthy functioning heart muscle tissues. Taking a co-enzyme Q10 supplement can:

  • Help maintain the body’s co-enzyme Q10 levels
  • Promote cardiovascular health
  • Maintain energy levels
  • Reduce muscle pain & weakness (common side-effect of statins due to depletion of co-enzyme Q10).

Go back to part 1

Go back to part 2

Go back to part 3

Go back to part 4

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact Informed Health on (02) 47 222 111 or www.informedhealth.com.au

 

References and further reading:

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Low-density lipoprotein subclass patterns and lipoprotein response to a reduced fat diet in men. FASEB Journal, 1994. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8299884

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/67/5/828.short

Eddey Stephen. Cardiovascular Disease: The best treatment options, 2011. Health Schools Australia, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Mensink RP, Katan MB. Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids ad lipoproteins. A meta analysis of 27 trials. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, 1992. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1386252

Mensink RP, Zock PL, et al. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/5/1146.short

Mente, de Koning et al. A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease.  Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19364995

Ravnskov U. The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1998. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993

Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.  Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/502.short

Other references and studies are available here: http://www.dietdoctor.com/science

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/242516-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out-On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz24cabyjEN

Big Fat Lies (a brief video history of the failed fat/lipid hypothesis approx. 2 ½ minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WA5wcaHp4

Cholesterol, what you need to know – Part 3

Recommendations for Diet and Lifestyle:

The most important thing you can do to prevent atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease is to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, with the goal of reducing your weight, reducing your triglycerides, reducing inflammation and balancing blood sugar levels. It is very important to lose any excess body fat, especially visceral (abdominal) fat around the organs, it contributes to raised blood triglycerides and oxidised cholesterol.

Suggestions include:

  • Increase the amount and variety vegetables you have each day, especially leafy greens. Eat vegetables of all colours to ensure you are eating plenty of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential to stop the LDL and HDL cholesterol from oxidising.
  • Avoid fruit juice completely. Eat small amounts of in season fruit, no more than one serving per day. Ideally only a couple of times a week.
  • Remove highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour) and all of the products made from them, bread, pasta, cakes, muffins, crackers, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, confectionary etc from your diet completely. If you do have grains at all, it is best to avoid gluten containing grains (wheat, rye, barley and oats). Have a small amount of rice or quinoa. In the western world our overconsumption of grains as a whole is causing a huge amount of inflammation and disease and is a big contributer to diabetes and heart disease.
  • Choose grass fed/finished beef. Avoid grain fed meat, grain is fed to cows to fatten them up, it create fatty plaques (essentially to create heart disease – the same effect that eating grains has for us)! These fatty plaques make the meat soft and tasty but also very unhealthy to eat.
  • Limit poor quality deli meats that include lots of questionable ingredients, including sausages and salami, and choose meats like free range turkey, chicken, or meat carved off a whole roast such as ham off the bone or roast lamb, roast pork where you know exactly what you are eating.
  • Have fresh fish at least twice a week, eat the skin and the fat under it – these are good fats.
    Use real butter (unsalted block butter). You can also use coconut oil. avocado and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avoid margarine or other soft butter mixes. The best oils for cooking are coconut oil or butter.

Go back to part 1

Go back to part 2

Go to part 4 for more diet and lifestyle tips

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact Informed Health on (02) 47 222 111 or www.informedhealth.com.au

 

References and further reading:

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Low-density lipoprotein subclass patterns and lipoprotein response to a reduced fat diet in men. FASEB Journal, 1994. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8299884

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/67/5/828.short

Eddey Stephen. Cardiovascular Disease: The best treatment options, 2011. Health Schools Australia, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Mensink RP, Katan MB. Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids ad lipoproteins. A meta analysis of 27 trials. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, 1992. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1386252

Mensink RP, Zock PL, et al. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/5/1146.short

Mente, de Koning et al. A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease.  Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19364995

Ravnskov U. The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1998. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993

Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.  Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/502.short

Other references and studies are available here: http://www.dietdoctor.com/science

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/242516-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out-On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz24cabyjEN

Big Fat Lies (a brief video history of the failed fat/lipid hypothesis approx. 2 ½ minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WA5wcaHp4

Cholesterol, what you need to know – Part 2

I previously discussed saturated fat under a separate post but think it is important to repeat here:

Saturated fat – finally the truth!

There are three main kinds of saturated fats. Short chain (eg butter) – which is healthy, butter actually breaks down to butyric acid in the body and this is colon protective. (The soluble fibre in an apple also breaks down in to butyric acid, which is also why apples are colon protective). Medium chain (eg coconut oil) – this is also healthy. It is long chain saturated fats that are damaging to the body. The main foods that cause heart disease are refined sugars including grains. These foods, especially if combined with a low fat diet will be stored as long chain saturated fatty acids in the body, this is what will clog up your arteries and cause atherosclerosis.

Coconuts

Highly refined carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all of the products made from them) over stimulate the immune system and cause inflammation.

Dr Dwight Lundell, a heart surgeon and author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie explains how this happens:

“Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume refined carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works. When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.”

This is usually visceral fat which is the dangerous fat that covers your abdominal organs and leads to a fatty liver.

What does all this have to do with inflammation?

Dr Lundell explains “blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes.  Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended.  It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.”

The other issue is excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods. Omega 6 are also important for the functioning of the body but most people over consume omega 6 and under consume omega 3 fats which puts everything out of balance in the body and contributes to inflammation.

Other causes of inflammation can be food allergies/intolerances, parasites, bacteria, stress, viruses, exposure to chemicals including what you put on your skin.

Go back to part 1

Go to part 3

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact Informed Health on (02) 47 222 111 or www.informedhealth.com.au

 

References and further reading:

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Low-density lipoprotein subclass patterns and lipoprotein response to a reduced fat diet in men. FASEB Journal, 1994. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8299884

Dreon DM, Fernstrom HA, et al. Change in dietary saturated fat intake is correlated with change in mass of large low-density-lipoprotein particles in men, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1998. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/67/5/828.short

Eddey Stephen. Cardiovascular Disease: The best treatment options, 2011. Health Schools Australia, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

Mensink RP, Katan MB. Effect of dietary fatty acids on serum lipids ad lipoproteins. A meta analysis of 27 trials. Arteriosclerosis and Thrombosis, 1992. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1386252

Mensink RP, Zock PL, et al. Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apolipoproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2003. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/77/5/1146.short

Mente, de Koning et al. A systematic review of the evidence supporting a causal link between dietary factors and coronary heart disease.  Archives of Internal Medicine, 2009. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19364995

Ravnskov U. The questionable role of saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids in cardiovascular disease, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 1998. Available at URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9635993

Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010.  Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract
Siri-Tarino PW, Sun Q et al. Saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010. Available at URL: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/3/502.short

Other references and studies are available here: http://www.dietdoctor.com/science

http://www.sott.net/articles/show/242516-Heart-Surgeon-Speaks-Out-On-What-Really-Causes-Heart-Disease

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/saturated-fat-healthy/#axzz24cabyjEN

Big Fat Lies (a brief video history of the failed fat/lipid hypothesis approx. 2 ½ minutes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WA5wcaHp4