Friday, February 28, 2014

Minger Hits the Bullseye

This is the same description of this process that is elegantly described in the Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, and which ties together the conjectures about the risks of carbs and/or fats:

More robust evidence exists for the "food depends on context" argument, and the data continues to mount in this direction.
A 2011 review in The Netherlands Journal of Medicine evaluated our collective body of research on saturated fat, carbohydrate, and cardiovascular disease, proposing an intriguing hypothesis about the behavior of saturated fat under different dietary circumstance.  Though more research is needed to test it, the theory may reconcile the inconsistencies popping up between clinical studies and epidemiology.  The review found that the modern diet tends to promote chronic, low-grade inflammation - response triggered by damage to your body's tissues.  The inflammation then cripples the body's ability to protect itself from other damage.  Basically, that chronic inflammation sets the stage for disease.
The paper's authors suggest that dietary saturated fat -while not a health-harming entity in and of itself-may become problematic if it's dumped on top of a soup of inflammation and excess carbohydrate.  Such a situation can lead to a buildup of saturated fatty acids in the body, notably as higher levels of free fatty acids in plasma lipids. (Those excess free fatty acids have long been linked with conditions like insulin resistance and diabetes, largely contributing to saturated fat's blacklisted status in the nutrition world.)
Explaining the phenomenon, the authors wrote:
"The adverse effects of high SAFA (saturated fatty acid) intake on lipid metabolism are particularly noted when SAFA are combined with a high CHO (carbohydrate) intake.  Under these conditions, dietary SAFA are preserved, while the surplus of the consumed CHO is converted SAFA by hepatic de novo fatty acid synthesis.  Taken together, SAFA accumulate:  1) under eucaloric conditions in normal weight subjects who consume a CHO-rich diet with high glycaemic index; and 2) under hypo caloric conditions in subjects with the metabolic syndrome and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease who consume CHO-rich diets.  Thus CHO, particularly those with a high glycemic index, and pre-existing insulin resistance are confounding factors in the discussion on the relation between CVD (cardiovascular disease) and dietary SAFA."
Death By Food Pyramid, Denise Minger

In short, if you eat an amount of carbohydrate that exceeds your body's tolerance for carbohydrate consumption, your blood will be loaded with a large quantity of fat (long standing knowledge that blood triglycerides are rapidly reduced with carb restriction).  The fat accumulates because the body prioritizes disposition of excess sugar over disposition of excess fat.  In the individual chronically overcoming carbs, the body not only doesn't burn fat often, it loses the ability to burn much fat (simple use it or lose it adaptations).  This cycle of excess carb consumption causes a host of problems, including the above referenced chronic low level inflammation.

In this storm of problems that results when too much carbohydrate is ingested, eating fat will add to the body's problem of fat disposition, further loading the blood with fat.  So, the perfect storm for high fat in the blood is a high fat, high sugar/carb diet.

This is also the root of the explanation for why there are some folks who are fat but healthy, and others who are not.  Excess body fat is a correlate of metabolic derangement - which means you are sick - but some have excess body fat but are not metabolically deranged.

Eat meat, vegetables, nuts and seeds, little fruit or starch, no sugar/wheat.

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