Friday, June 15, 2012

Swedish Study Finds Lower-Carb, Higher-Fat Diet Increases Cholesterol

This large, longterm, and recent study out of Sweden:
Associations Among 25-year Trends In Diet, Cholesterol And BMI From 140,000 Observations In Men And Women In Northern Sweden, Nutrition Journal, June 2012

"The increase in serum cholesterol coincided with the increase in fat intake, especially with intake of saturated fat and fats for spreading on bread and cooking."
So, as carbohydrate intake declined and fat intake increased:

Serum cholesterol increased, even though there was greater use of cholesterol-lowering drugs:

That dip in cholesterol in the early 1990s came after an intervention program that saw the population cut their fat intake and up their carb intake.

But "after 2004, fat intake increased sharply which coincided with introduction of positive media support for a low carbohydrate high-fat (LCHF) diet." Cholesterol rose as fat rose.

These are not just correlations, but statistically adjusted associations.


Philippa said...

Did you see that participants "balanced" their consumption of potatoes and crispbread by switching to pasta and bread? They also drank more alcohol, which is filled with carbs. It sounds to me as if their carb consumption stayed about the same (at best), while fat increased, thereby showing a lower % consumption of carbs.

preserve said...

The study mentions that protein intake stayed constant, while saturated fat increased.

We can deduce that the saturated fat increased as a result of lower food quality.

Two aspects come to mind.

1)Lower food quality may result in higher cholesterol.

2)The quality of consumed food is low if people are urbanized and poor. Urbanized poor people tend to have higher cholesterol.

Bix said...

I noted that too about protein being held constant while saturated fat went up. If they were eating more meat, their protein would have gone up, but it didn't. The study included some graphs that showed the saturated fat came from more butter, cream, and cooking oil.

Apart from any effect of saturated fat specifically, the dairy fat they were eating is known to concentrate (bioaccumulate) fat-soluble chemicals, things like endocrine disruptors.