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Is that Potato Killing You?


For years we were taught that saturated fat was killing us. Millions of people are on medication to lower cholesterol levels. People switched to low fat products. Even those ring shaped candies were advertised as low in fat. And yet cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) continued to rise.

Numerous studies have now demonstrated again and again that a diet high in simple carbohydrates is far more dangerous. This 2016 study from the journal, Food and Nutrition Research, confirms that once again.

Interesting relationships were found when they examined food consumption data and cardiovascular disease risk factors from 42 European countries from 1993 to 2008. Some interesting patterns emerged:

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk was not increased with increased saturated fat intake, but was associated with a high glycemic index/ simple carbohydrate diet.

Low CVD risk was most significantly associated with high animal fat and high animal protein intake, and also related to eating citrus fruits, high-fat dairy (cheese) and tree nuts. The high animal fat and high animal protein diet was associated with raised cholesterol levels, but they were both negatively related to CVD rates. Did you get that, raised cholesterol levels were associated with low CVD rates!

High CVD risk was most related to the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates (grains).

The main theory to explain these observations is that a diet high in simple carbohydrates causes spikes in blood sugar levels after meals, stimulating inflammation in the blood vessels leading to CVD. The increased inflammation from a diet high in simple carbs has also found to be related to increased cancer risk in other studies.




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