3

votes

carbohydrate + saturated fat = heart disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 13, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Hey, i have been somewhat confused by the role of carbohydrate and SFAs in heart disease. Initially, i thought that saturated fat was 'safe' to consume due to a low carbohydrate consumption. That'd mean that increasing carb intake would result in increased risk of heart disease, no? Then i realized that some people eat moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate (Zone diet) and they don't get heart disease (at least i presume they dont) On another note, i have heard Taubes claim that SFAs raise HDL more than LDL. Wouldn't that i mean that saturated fat, no matter the carb content, is inherently safe to eat?

to the point: Does macronutrient composition play a role in the chances of heart disease? I have begun to eat more carrots/berries (and thereby less fat i guess also) will this combination of fat/carbs increase my risk of heart disease provided that i eat at maintenance levels?

Thanks! This has been a major concern for me

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I'm not sure that there's a theory that says fat consumption *automatically* decreases as carbohydrate consumption rises; maybe you're assuming that a person is supposed to eat less fat as s/he eats more carbs. Anyway, your total cholesterol number doesn't have much to do with what you eat (except for unusual medical conditions), and nearly nothing to do with your cardiovascular health. See this discussion (http://paleohacks.com/questions/152474/how-am-i-doing-my-blood-work-2-months-into-paleo-eating-from-vegetarian/155423#155423) for an elaboration.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:29 PM

That is very interesting. What you are saying is that from personal experience overeating is a much greater factor in elevated cholesterol levels than carb/fat ratio, correct?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 14, 2012
at 01:05 PM

They could make a high carb diet if you ate mass quantities. Cooked carrots are a bad actor because the cooking raises the glycemic index, but raw carrots and berries are low glycemics.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Please do throw macros to the wind and only care about the quality. If you have symptoms of carb intolerance, you may need to moderate your intake, but if you don't, then you have nothing to worry about.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:16 AM

There have been no long term associations with saturated fat and heart disease. And these were studies based on people eating SAD, and lots of carbs.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:45 AM

ugh, i may have to pull myself together then and kick my carrot-addiction.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Thanks for clearing it up. I honestly dont know how many carbs i'll eat a day. Likely 200 or so - but if the theory is that fat consumption decreases as carbohydrate consumption rises the net result would be no change in cholesterol, right?

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I have read this too. It seems to be a cherished idea in the WAPF community, no? I would like this to be true - but it almost seems too good to be true. That way i could throw macronutrient ratios to the wind and only care about the quality and not quantity.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 14, 2012
at 01:01 AM

Carrots and berries does not make high carb. Probably not even moderate carb.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:52 AM

ding ding winner!

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5 Answers

6
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:47 AM

I think the proper formula is inflammation + saturated fat = heart disease. And inflammation is a result of some modern foods such as some grains and milled flour, as well as soybean oil, trans fats and other foods.

4b5be253ac1981c690689cab7e4bf06d

(3043)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:16 AM

There have been no long term associations with saturated fat and heart disease. And these were studies based on people eating SAD, and lots of carbs.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:52 AM

ding ding winner!

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:42 AM

I have read this too. It seems to be a cherished idea in the WAPF community, no? I would like this to be true - but it almost seems too good to be true. That way i could throw macronutrient ratios to the wind and only care about the quality and not quantity.

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:56 AM

Please do throw macros to the wind and only care about the quality. If you have symptoms of carb intolerance, you may need to moderate your intake, but if you don't, then you have nothing to worry about.

4
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:51 AM

"I have begun to eat more carrots/berries (and thereby less fat i guess also) will this combination of fat/carbs increase my risk of heart disease provided that i eat at maintenance levels?"

NO! ENJOY!

4
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 14, 2012
at 12:08 AM

The body will always use carbs for fuel before fat, because it's immediately toxic to have too much glucose (the end breakdown product of carbs) loose in the bloodstream. So, a higher-carb + higher-SFA diet results in most of the SFA getting stored for later use. And what fat can't be stored quickly in fat tissue gets stored temporarily in the blood as triglycerides, a high level of which increases the risk of heart disease.

That said, people have different metabolisms, and so, different optimal "fuel mixtures." Race, sex, ethnicity, geographic ancestry, age, past eating habits, level of physical activity, thyroid health, hormonal balance, vitamin and mineral absorption capabilities, birth control medication, exposure to environmental toxins, etc. all influence a person's need for carbs and fats. But much evidence points to a diet of at least 50% of calories from animal fat and a maximum of 30% of calories from carbs being conducive to good health. Beyond that, people need to experiment and get lab tests to determine what works best for them.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Thanks for clearing it up. I honestly dont know how many carbs i'll eat a day. Likely 200 or so - but if the theory is that fat consumption decreases as carbohydrate consumption rises the net result would be no change in cholesterol, right?

00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 14, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I'm not sure that there's a theory that says fat consumption *automatically* decreases as carbohydrate consumption rises; maybe you're assuming that a person is supposed to eat less fat as s/he eats more carbs. Anyway, your total cholesterol number doesn't have much to do with what you eat (except for unusual medical conditions), and nearly nothing to do with your cardiovascular health. See this discussion (http://paleohacks.com/questions/152474/how-am-i-doing-my-blood-work-2-months-into-paleo-eating-from-vegetarian/155423#155423) for an elaboration.

1
Medium avatar

(10611)

on October 14, 2012
at 01:00 PM

To your last point google up the Framingham model for CV risk. The inputs are sex, age, blood pressure, HDL and TC.

Nothing about macronutrients. Nothing about obesity, BMI or diabetes either. You have to consider how your actions impact the important risk factors. Based on what I've seen personally, I can raise my HDL and lower my blood pressure by maintaining normal weight and exercising. Shifting my fat/carb ratio had a much lower effect than eating less fat/carbs did on my CV risk. When I was sedentary and obese, I tried shifting from high fat to high carb ad libitum, which had some effects on my TG's and LDL, but precious little effect on the critical factors HDL and blood pressure.

Sadly there's not much I can do about the age and sex to lower my risk...

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:29 PM

That is very interesting. What you are saying is that from personal experience overeating is a much greater factor in elevated cholesterol levels than carb/fat ratio, correct?

0
11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on October 13, 2012
at 11:45 PM

Maybe. Personally, I would be more cautious with saturated fat if I ate a high carb diet.

4fce8590b5453d379dddeaa649955eb9

(173)

on October 14, 2012
at 02:45 AM

ugh, i may have to pull myself together then and kick my carrot-addiction.

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