Low Fat Low Cholesterol Diet – Why This Diet Is Not Always Working!
It would seem logical that a low fat low cholesterol diet would take care of just about every case of elevated lipids in existence. But, that is not always the case. This can be very perplexing for people who have chosen to add in more foods to lower cholesterol like oatmeal and omit those that have been shown to elevate lipid levels, like those high in saturated fats. But, while reducing dietary cholesterol intake as well as bad fats are both very important parts of a cholesterol diet, there is one component that is often forgotten, and that is sugar.
It may not seem that sugar is at all related to a low fat low cholesterol diet, but WebMD notes numerous ways that sugar may negatively impact cholesterol numbers. One of the most generic of these is weight gain. When simple sugars and simple carbs are left in the diet and not controlled, they can lead to increased weight and obesity – both important precursors to elevated cholesterol levels.
Interestingly enough, sugar and cholesterol are more related than you may think. One part of a lipid panel that doctors use for monitoring has to do with checking for high triglycerides. These are simply blood fats and they are responsible for the buildup of spare tire tummy that can form around the midsection. High triglycerides are predominantly caused by refined and processed foods as well as sugar intake, and they can negatively impact both weight and cholesterol levels too.
And, uncontrolled sugar intake may be responsible for lipid levels in another way. WebMD explains that studies have concluded markedly lower levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) in people who have diets that contain a lot of sugar. HDL cholesterol is a very important part of a low fat low cholesterol diet. HDL serves as a means to clean up the blood highways of the body, hunting and disposing of excessive LDL (bad) cholesterol that has affixed itself to plaques in the arteries. Web MD notes that in the study that observed the impact of sugar intake on cholesterol levels, many participants that consumed a lot of sugar ended up with a double whammy in terms of lipids, with both their triglyceride levels and their HDL levels adversely affected.
One of the biggest factors that can contribute to the failure of a low fat low cholesterol diet is simply making bad replacement choices. For some people, emphasis on low cholesterol recipes is completely lost and individual food items are focused on instead. Take for instance the cholesterol in seafood options like shrimp. A wide variety of low cholesterol recipes exist that include shrimp (even though it is high in cholesterol!) But, for those on a low fat low cholesterol diet, shrimp may be excluded from meal options, instead of enjoyed on occasion for its sterol content, high protein and low saturated fat content.
The problem surrounding foods and recipes to lower cholesterol do not stop at just exclusion, however. Simply making bad choices in general in terms of processed foods does not help make a diet any more successful either. For instance, oatmeal has been declared one of the best, heart healthy, edible options to choose from; however, selecting over processed and over sweetened versions from the cereal aisle at the grocery store may prove to do more harm than good. Rather, dieters should consider new and exciting ways to use beneficial foods, like low cholesterol recipes including chicken breast breaded in natural oatmeal, or spinach with garlic sauce.
It is worth noting that there are other reasons that a low fat low cholesterol diet may not be successful. Aside from an abundance of sugar, genetics and family history may also play a role. Web MD explains that in addition to family history, there are some types of diseases that can cause high cholesterol and even age and gender may play a role too (http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/tc/high-cholesterol-cause). These physiological causes may contribute to the failure of a low fat low cholesterol diet, when efforts are not substantial enough to counteract the internal forces keeping lipid levels high. In addition, lifestyle factors like smoking and a lack of physical activity can also interfere with the level of achievement attainable by a cholesterol themed diet. However, it is important to consider sugar as one potential wrench in the wheel, because it is an often overlooked source of elevated cholesterol levels. And, the tendency for people to replace their high fat missing munchies with over processed and sugary snacks is worth considering if dieting endeavors seem stymied.