Cholesterol Reduction Hoax

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

Greetings! My name is
Konstantin Monastyrsky. I am a medical writer, performance nutrition consultant,
and an expert in forensic nutrition. The subject of this investigative report is the popular
claim that dietary fiber in food and supplements may reduce your risk of heart disease!
In fact, it is an intentional and well-practiced lie, because according to all the clinical
studies ever conducted, the effect of soluble fiber in oats and psyllium on blood cholesterol
level is so insignificant, it can’t materially reduce anyone’s chance of developing
heart disease. The most objective and representative of these
studies was published in the highly respected Journal of American Clinical Nutrition under
the title “Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis.”
In this particular research the scientists from the Harvard University Medical School
and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed the results of 67 completed clinical trials
in order to determine the median affect of fiber from oats and psyllium on blood cholesterol.
And this is what they concluded: To begin, you need to consume three full servings
of oatmeal to affect your cholesterol level by a small amount. That’s 48 grams of pure
carbs in just one meal, or the equivalent of having three full tablespoons of sugar.
For anyone suffering from heart disease or diabetes, that many carbs for breakfast alone
is literally a ‘death wish.’ Next, three servings of fiber decrease total
and LDL cholesterol by just 0.13 mmol/dL — that is a scientific measurement which
translates to a tiny 5 milligram per deciliter of blood. Thus, if your total cholesterol,
for example, is 280 mg/dL, adding fiber will reduce it only to 275 mg/dL. As any cardiologist
will tell you, 1.7% reduction of total cholesterol is as helpful as prayer. Well, actually, prayer
is probably more helpful… “As any cardiologist will tell you, 1.7% reduction
of total cholesterol is as helpful as prayer. Well, actually, prayer is probably more helpful…”
Finally, increasing fiber consumption above three servings isn’t practical. The reduction
of cholesterol from extra fiber is just too small to count onů If that’s what you are
after, you’ll need a prescriptionů Anyone who reads small print, knows that fiber
has no effect on cholesterol unless it is also accompanied by a low-fat, low-cholesterol
diet. What is not as well known — the exact same diet reduces cholesterol even more when
fiber is removed. Here are the facts: Lets begin from the perfunctory small print,
just like on this web page: “The fiber in Metamucil is proven to lower cholesterol*”
Then, the footnote explains: Only “ůas a part of diet low in
saturated fat and cholesterol.” These disclaimers are actually required by
the Food and Drug Administration to accompany health claims related to fiber
and cholesterol because, according to the American Heart Association,
“A fiber supplement added to a diet otherwise high in saturated fat and cholesterol provides
dubious cardiovascular advantages.” Ironically the exact same low-fat diet reduces
cholesterol even more without any fiber, and that is the top reason why the American Heart
Association has been promoting low-fat food in the first place. In essence,
it was well known in advance that adding fiber to a diet low in fat and cholesterol
will demonstrate some cholesterol reduction simply because this is what these diets do
with or without fiber! And it also means that all of these clinical
trials of fiber’s prowess amount to nothing but a well-staged charade to justify the marketing
of oat cereals and psyllium laxatives as functional food, capable of preventing heart disease.
So, there you have it: — Add soluble fiber to a low-fat, low-cholesterol
diet, and you get a meaningless 1.7% reduction of cholesterol; — Or, endure the exact same diet without fiber, and your cholesterol goes down six
to seven percent; — Or, if you missed the small print, and
are enjoying your regular diet, extra fiber will have zero effect on cholesterol, except
hastening the arrival of heart disease from all those extra carbs in your bowl of oatmeal
— the exact opposite of what you are expecting from adding fiber to your presumably healthy
diet! Not an easy choice… As incredulous as it may sound,
a diet low in fat and cholesterol, recommended to accompany
fiber, may actually increase your risk of heart disease. When most of the fiber trials
were conducted in the nineties, the most prominent brand of the low-fat, low-cholesterol diet
was called Step 1, and it was heavily promoted by the American Heart Association to reduce
blood cholesterol. The Step 1 diet contained less than 5% of saturated fat, very little
cholesterol, and a ton of carbs — 40% to 50% to be exact. It wouldn’t be such a
big deal if the Step 1 diet was just a harmless, poor-tasting chow
if not for this catch… The Division of Gerontology at the University of Maryland has investigated
the effects of the Step 1 diet on postmenopausal overweight women – one of the highest risk
groups for heart disease. Their findings were duly reported by the Journal of the American
Dietetic Association. As was expected, the Step 1 diet reduced the
ladies total and LDL cholesterol by 8% and 6% respectively, but their HDL cholesterol
fell by a whopping 16%. The medical community wasn’t pleased. Here is what Dr. Alan Gaby
wrote in the article entitled Problem with American Heart Association Step 1 diet and
published by the highly regarded Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients:
“In women, a low HDL cholesterol concentration is a stronger independent predictor of cardiovascular
disease risk than is elevated total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol. Therefore, women who follow
American Heart Association guidelines for lowering their serum cholesterol may actually
be increasing their risk of heart disease” So, there you have it again: Adding fiber
to a low-fat diet, low-cholesterol may actually increase your risk of heart disease, particularly
if you happen to be a woman close to or after the menopause.
Guess what the American Heart Association did in response to this fiasco…
What else do you expect — it replaced the disgraced Step 1 diet with brand new Step
2. This 2.0 update restricted fats even more, and, at the same time, increased the carbs
content up to 60%! Junk food, junk science – it’s all the same.
Take any junk, repackage it into health food, legitimize it with junk science, mark it up
to make a killing, sell it to unsuspecting health-concerned customers, laugh all the
way to the bank, and let someone else clean up the messů This means we are ready
to summarize our findings: First, as any cardiologist will tell you,
cholesterol-lowering drugs claim to reduce the risk of heart attack only by about 30%ů
To accomplish even this partial reduction of risk requires the lowering of total cholesterol
by twenty, thirty, or more percent, all the way down to two hundred, not just a statistically-insignificant
1.7%, or just five milligram per deciliter as fiber does. Second, low-fat diets
recommended for cholesterol reduction with fiber actually increase your
risk of heart disease because they reduce the protective properties of HDL cholesterol.
Third, fiber from food or supplements without a restrictive low-fat diet has zero affect
on your level of cholesterol. As the American Heart Association noted, “A fiber supplement
added to a diet otherwise high in saturated fat and cholesterol provides dubious cardiovascular
advantages.” Fourth, natural fiber in fruits, vegetables,
and cereals is always accompanied by dietary carbohydrates, usually five to ten times as
many. If you attempt to consume the recommended thirty five grams of natural fiber daily,
you will ingest alongside between one hundred and fifty to three hundred grams of extra
carbohydrates. Fifth, excess carbohydrates in a fiber-rich
diet are the primary cause of metabolic syndrome, obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes. All four
conditions are known as the major causes of heart disease. Finally, six,
I hope you noticed that the actual effect of fiber on heart disease was
never studied. All this talk about fiber’s benefits for the heart is simply marketing
and money-making ploy made from fiber’s non-existent “ability” to lower cholesterol in connection
with a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet that lowers it anyway without any fiberů
All of these conclusions sum up to one sad result: Anyone hoping that the soluble fiber
in oats or psyllium will protect their heart, extend their life, and enhance their health
is very much mistaken because, in reality, this fiber is doing the complete opposite.
I hope this isn’t you! Thank you for watching, and I wish you and
your family good health and good luck!

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