Friday, March 01, 2013

25-Year Study Finds Low-Carb Diets Increase Cholesterol

I want to repost this Swedish study from last summer because I found a quotation by its head researcher that makes a lot of sense to me:
"Prof Ingegerd Johansson, who led this research, commented, "The association between nutrition and health is complex. It involves specific food components, interactions among those food components, and interactions with genetic factors and individual needs. While low carbohydrate/high fat diets may help short term weight loss, these results of this Swedish study demonstrate that long term weight loss is not maintained and that this diet increases blood cholesterol which has a major impact on risk of cardiovascular disease." "
- ‘Bad’ Dieting Increases Cardiovascular Disease Risk, BioMed Central, June 2012
Below is the study:

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.

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