For 80 years people with high cholesterol have been told by their doctor or medical specialist to reduce their eating of saturated fats to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
A new study led by David M Diamond, professor and heart disease researcher at the University of South Florida, California, and published in the journal BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine found no evidence to support those claims.
High levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol can occur for many reasons, one of which is a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia — high cholesterol that runs in the family.
If you develop high cholesterol, you can develop fatty deposits in your blood vessels. Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. Sometimes, those deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.
Professor Diamond led an international team of experts on heart disease and diet, including five cardiologists, who reviewed dietary guidelines for people with familial hypercholesterolemia.
“For the past 80 years, people with familial hypercholesterolemia have been told to lower their cholesterol with a low saturated fat diet,” said Professor Diamond.
“Our study showed that a more ‘heart healthy’ diet is one low in sugar, not saturated fat.”
Diamond and his co-authors said following a low-carb diet is most effective for people at increased risk of heart disease, such as those who are overweight, hypertensive and diabetic.
Their findings are consistent with another paper recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, which provided strong evidence that the consumption of food that raises blood sugar, such as bread, potatoes and sweets, should be greatly reduced, rather than tropical oils and animal-based food.
Bread, potatoes and sweets are easy to spot but the following foods are also high in sugar, according to Firstory Parenting:
- Packet soup
- Low-fat yogurts
- supermarket sauces
- tomato ketchup
- Granola bars
- Salad dressing
- Sugar-free products
- Cold coffee and iced tea
- Barbecue sauce