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Old 10-04-2007, 09:11 PM   #1
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wheat and cholesterol

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 ?

Allison

 
Old 10-04-2007, 09:20 PM   #2
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Complex carbohydrates or low GI index carbs like whole wheat or sweet potatos in controlled quantities are good. Heavily refined, high GI index carbs liek white bread, cakes, etc can raise triglycerides and cholesterol.

Last edited by mmvic; 10-04-2007 at 09:21 PM.

 
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Old 10-05-2007, 05:36 PM   #3
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison965 View Post
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 ?

Allison
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.

 
Old 10-05-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Nice post. Love the detail.

Last edited by Guy1_USA; 10-05-2007 at 08:14 PM.

 
Old 10-07-2007, 02:52 PM   #5
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Thanks for your detailed response. My TGs are 59, so I think I can keep eating wheat. I am just trying to get my LDL down -- LDL is 151 and HDL is 96. I am not in such bad shape, but would like to get my LDL down. It will be interesting though -- I was hardly eating ANY wheat before, but now I am eating wheat as I am trying to get whole grains into my diet and this is one way to do it. We will see what my numbers are in a couple of months.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 01:39 AM   #6
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rheanna HB Userrheanna HB User
Re: wheat and cholesterol

Quote:
I was hardly eating ANY wheat before, but now I am eating wheat as I am trying to get whole grains into my diet and this is one way to do it.
Allison965,

Please keep in mind that there are other ways to get the benefits of whole grains without wheat. Brown rice, steel-cut oats, buckwheat flour, millet, amaranth, quinoa, are just a few that come to mind. They give fiber to slow down the spiking of blood sugar from the carbs, and lots of vitamins and minerals because the germ and outer seed-coats are still there.

Red60,

Do you know of any research regarding the cholesterol affects from other grains (using that term loosely to include the examples above)?

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-08-2007, 04:40 AM   #7
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The Mayor HB User
Re: wheat and cholesterol

What about breads? If we should stay away from wheat then what kind of bread should I be eating? I know the good 'ole white bread is a no-no.
The bread they sell in the local supermarkets is all junk in my opinion. Full of sugar,trans fats and no fiber.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Keep away from all breads... and pasta... (easier said than done).

 
Old 10-08-2007, 10:14 AM   #9
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Is oatmeal a whole grain food?

 
Old 10-08-2007, 05:36 PM   #10
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Red60 HB User
Re: wheat and cholesterol

Quote:
Originally Posted by rheanna View Post
Red60,

Do you know of any research regarding the cholesterol affects from other grains (using that term loosely to include the examples above)?

--Rheanna
The only other grain I've seen tested was oat. And it actually improved the sd-LDL.

Dr. Davis does not put forth any research but only his observation. In his practice what he has seen is the elimination of wheat yeilds about 90% of the benifit of cutting all grains.

My hunch is that wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) probably has something to due with this. I have not found any studies specifically testing WGA for cholesterol but it has been found to interfere with a number of chemical processes in our bodies. There are a lot of WGA studies but most of them are beond my ability to understand.

Last edited by Red60; 10-08-2007 at 05:36 PM.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 05:54 PM   #11
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Red60 HB User
Re: wheat and cholesterol

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mayor View Post
What about breads? If we should stay away from wheat then what kind of bread should I be eating? I know the good 'ole white bread is a no-no.
The bread they sell in the local supermarkets is all junk in my opinion. Full of sugar,trans fats and no fiber.
You make a good point. There are probably not a lot of off the shelf breads that are worth eating. I have not eaten any grain products for about 5 months now. I've always been a big bread eater and warm buttered breads are one of my favorites. Some options I've been researching are sourdough flat breads made with some of the grains that Rheanna mentioned in her post. These grains have better nutritional profiles than wheat and the sourdough process eliminates some of the problems associated with grains and seeds. I'm not sure if these types of breads are available or if they would have to be made from scratch at home. It's a method that was used for 100s of years by many cultures before the age of the supermarket.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 05:56 PM   #12
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lutheran122 View Post
Is oatmeal a whole grain food?


I guess it would depend on the specific product your using. If it cooks in less than a half hour I'm guessing it's had a fair amount of processing.

Last edited by Red60; 10-08-2007 at 05:58 PM.

 
Old 10-08-2007, 08:49 PM   #13
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Wow! I am more confused than ever! I realize that there are other ways to get whole grains in your diet besides eating wheat bread, but how much oatmeal and brown rice can one eat? Everything I have read says to "add" whole grains, not to eliminate them. I was hardly eating any whole grains before, so I have no idea what this will do to my numbers when I get tested again

 
Old 10-08-2007, 11:50 PM   #14
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Red60,

I make my own yeast bread from buckwheat flour and teff. I include eggs and powdered milk to make it softer and moister. (Also a little guar gum to replace the glue-iness of gluten.) The gluten-free breads in the health food store leave out the eggs and milk so that they can sell it to people who are also allergic to these things. Their bread is dry and tasteless. Mine is yummy and makes great sandwiches and buttered toast.

I've been thinking for some time about using a sourdough method, but I haven't worked out the logistics. The little packages of sourdough starters in the health food stores here in Germany are made with rye, which I can't have because of gluten-intolerance. I've thought about creating my own starter but I'm not ready for the long-term care and feeding of it. I can barely keep potted plants alive. But you give good points about the benefits of sourdough. I'll keep it in mind.

--Rheanna

 
Old 10-09-2007, 12:01 AM   #15
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Re: wheat and cholesterol

Allison965,

I think it is a good idea to cut down on starches in general. I'm in the process of evaluating just how much starch I currently eat, so that I can decide how much I can comfortably cut back on.

The issue of how much starch is healthy to eat is a controversial one. For most of us relatively sedentary folks, the US government recommendations to eat 8-11 servings from the bread group is way out of line (in my not so humble opinion). And if we interpret the recommendations as "adding" whole grains to what we already eat, we're setting ourselves up for an overload of calories as well as carbs.

Most of us are used to the taste and consistency of white bread and white rice. The trick to being able to use whole grains instead of white is to think about what things taste good together. I haven't given up my white basmati rice or risotto rice or sushi rice, because they just taste so good with certain recipes. But I have found that red rice (from the Camargue region of France) tastes really good with lentils and a Japanese-y flavor direction -- ginger and dark miso and toasted sesame seeds, with grated carrot to give it a bit of sweetness. Buckwheat pancakes or crepes aren't to everyone's taste, but I love them with cheese and spinach.

What I'm trying to do at the moment is look at how big my servings are. If I make sure that there are lots and lots of low-carb veggies in my meal, I can eat much smaller portions of starchy carbs. And I'm still looking for more recipes that taste yummy with whole grains.

--Rheanna

 
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