Friday, January 19, 2007

Carbs, ethnicity and variations in cholesterol

Carbs may explain ethnic variations in cholesterol Reuters/Yahoo!News 1/19/07 "South Asians ate the most carbohydrate and had the lowest HDL cholesterol levels, while Chinese individuals ate the least carbohydrate and had the highest levels of the beneficial blood fat, Dr. Anwar T. Merchant of the Population Health Research Institute in Hamilton, Ontario and colleagues found...When calories from carbohydrates replace energy from fat in a person's diet, both LDL and HDL cholesterol levels fall while triacylglycerol levels rise, the researchers explain...South Asians ate the most carbohydrates, followed by Europeans, Native Americans, and Chinese. After adjustment for several factors including age, ethnicity, body mass index and alcohol intake, the association between carbohydrates and lower HDL cholesterol remained, with people consuming the most carbs having an average level of 1.08 mmol/L, compared to 1.21 mmol/L for those who ate the fewest carbohydrates. Each additional 100 gram per day of carbohydrates was tied to a 0.15 mmol/L drop in HDL cholesterol. Triacylglycerol levels also rose in tandem with carbohydrate intake"

They also noted that increases sugar intake was associated with lower HDL levels.

Also more evidence that Triacylglycerols (a more awkward name for triglycerides) is highly linked with carbohydrate intake.

This comes as a great disappointment to a carb lover like myself. The evidence seems fairly clear that one should control intake of carbs. With the simplistic formula being more carbs = greater chance of heart disease. Also more sugar = greater chance of heart disease.

The question then becomes are there carbs that are less bad, and are there forms of sugar less bad?

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