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Summary- Lower LDL Cholesterol levels are not achieved through the replacement of saturated fat with carbohydrate, but rather through replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat, both equally effective options.
The American Journal of Cardiology (2000;85:45-48) reported a study completed by Dr. Gerald M. Reaven, of Stanford University School of Medicine, and his colleagues. They demonstrated a high-carbohydrate diet is associated with elevated triglycerides in the blood. The study involved two groups. Group 1, the high-carb group, consumed a diet of 60% carbohydrate, 25% fat and 15% protein. Group 2 consumed a diet of 45% carbohydrate, 45% fat and 15% fat. Both groups stayed on this regime for two weeks; then the participants in each group were switched over to the dietary regime of the other.
The researchers determined that both groups of individuals, when on the higher carbohydrate diet, had significantly higher triglyceride concentrations after fasting and after both breakfast and lunch. Even though there were no changes in levels of LDL (low density lipoproteins), usually referred to as "bad" cholesterol, subjects had significantly lower levels of HDL (high density lipoproteins), or "good" cholesterol.
Dr. Reaven's group stated in the American Journal of Cardiology that these changes in blood lipids called into question the wisdom of recommending people replace dietary fat with carbohydrate, a popular dieting practice of the last several years. After all, these kinds of changes in blood lipids are associated with a greater probability of atherosclerosis.
According to the researchers, the results also suggested substantial evidence exists to the effect that lowering LDLs is not achieved through the replacement of saturated fat with carbohydrate, but rather through replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat, both equally effective options.