Originally Posted by Allison965
I am so confused. I have read in many of the threads that wheat is bad for cholesterol? If so, why is this? I thought "whole grains" and lots of them was the way to go
More than likely I'm responsable for the anti-wheat campain. Here's the deal.
There are a number of different subtypes of LDL cholesterol. Researchers have classified LDL-C into to distictive types: pattern A, with a higher proportion of large, more buoyant LDL particles, and pattern B, with a predominance of small dense LDL (sd-LDL) particles. Pattern B LDL is now what most research is pointing to as being the cholesterol component that is most damaging. Most of this research is less than 5 years olds so in the medical world it is still considered somewhat experimental. But if you start looking at the research I believe you will find there is more than enough evidence to start taking this seriously.
Okay back to the wheat. There also appears to be a connection between TGs levels and Pattern B LDL. TG levels less than 70 normaly do not have Pattern B LDL lipoprotein profiles. TGs70-140 its a toss up, some have Pattern B some Pattern A. TGs greater than 140 and the chances of Pattern B LDL are very high. As mmvic pointed out grains, sugars and starches tend to increase TGs. There is also additional evidence that wheat in particular produces small dense LDL-C. Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who also serves as the medical director of Milwaukee Heart Scan in Milwaukee, Wisconsin has found that when wheat is eliminated from the diet there is a significant drop in sd-LDL.
Now since most of us are stuck using the standard Cholesterol testing method and we do not have an accurate measurment of LDL-C (it is calculated and from what I've read not very accurate) we also do not know what our LDL pattern is. In addition we don't know the ratio of HDL2 to HDL3. HDL2 is the type believed to be cardio protective.
So what do we do? First ask your doctor for a lipoprotein test. There are three different test available and they all can give you information to determine your LDL pattern.
If option 1 is struck down by cost or insurance then we must do the best we can based off of the standard cholesterol test. If you can get the TGs down into the 60s and the rest of the numbers look ok then you are probably ok since pattern B is unlikely.
If your TG are higher than 70 then I would look to cut the wheat and supplement with fishoil. Fishoil is very effective at reducing the TGs. Fishoil may very well be one of the most protective supplements you can take and has been studied a great deal. If you watch the sugar, starch and wheat plus use 4000-6000 mgs of fishoil per day most will have the TGs under 70.
Niacin is another supplement that also has been shown to reduce sd-LDL. It also increases HDL counts and shifts HDL particle size to the larger more protective HDL2. In addition it is the only effective treatment for those who have Lp (a) attached to their LDL.
Doing all the right things and your lipids still are not responding? Get your vitamin d levels checked. If they're low supplement or get some sun to bring it to an optimum level. There is growing evidence that vitamin d deficiency can be a risk factor for CHD and many times after it is corrected the body starts responding to the above therapies.
Sorry for the long post. I guess I got a little carried away and went a little further than just explaining my reasoning for avoiding wheat.