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    please analyze
    jc3737 posted:

    cholesterol 133 diet: brown rice,steamed vegetables,
    triglycerides 106 baked potato,flax seed,green lettuce,nuts
    LDL 73


    cholesterol 169 diet: same as above nut with no nuts
    triclycerides 131
    LDL 104
    jc3737 responded:
    The two diets were identical except I gave up nuts (they were hard on my digestive system)for the past few months.

    How could the lack of nuts in my diet account for the large increase in LDL,total cholesterol,and triglycerides?

    Is it possible the lab results were wrong?

    Or are nuts that important in keeping cholesterol low?
    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Quite interesting post, as always.

    It has been said that nuts do reduce cholesterol.

    We are all individuals. If nuts are difficult on your digestion, that is an important observation towards understanding your individual metabolism.

    Thoughts for your consideration: You might have a food allergy or sensitivity to some specific nuts. It is rare for someone to be sensitive to all nuts and seeds. Note that seeds are even more nutritious than nuts. Also note that ground flaxseed gives some people diarrhea (for example, my wife) but she loves all the other nuts and seeds.

    I daily have one tablespoon ground flaxseed (my wife would have to skip this) and two tablespoons ground sesame seeds (raw unhulled). Also 4 tablespoons ground sunflower seeds (raw unsalted). The sunflower seeds are less than $3 per pound, a bargain. (Dr. Fuhrman advocates sunflower seeds for muscle recovery for athletes.) Also pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil, etc.

    My point is that perhaps you could narrow down which nuts or seeds bother you.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    heretk replied to jc3737's response:
    It could easily be a measurement inaccuracy. I have seen /-20% accuracy reported for those kind of measurements.

    If you consume less nuts (fats) then you must have aded more carbs to keep calories balanced out. More carbs = more triglycerides = more LDL because LDL are depleted triglycerides. TG LDL is basically the same population of lipoprotein particles, but of different sizes. TG are bigger.

    I don't think that low cholesterol is such a good thing for people on a high plant low fat diet! For example, in Japan consumming probably a similar diet to yours, low cholesterol below 160 correlated with higher cardiovascular risk, as much as for those with above 280, see table 5 in J-LIT study:

    jc3737 replied to heretk's response:
    Thanks EG and Heretic for your analysis.

    Ill try the sunflower seeds.

    I likely ate more brown rice(more carbs) when I gave up nuts but mostly I just ate a bit weight did drop about 5 lbs after I gave up nuts.I have returned nuts to my diet but in very small digestive sysytem is handling them OK so far.
    engineerguy replied to heretk's response:
    Hi Heretic,

    Re: "If you consume less nuts (fats) then you must have aded more carbs to keep calories balanced out. More carbs = more triglycerides = more LDL because LDL are depleted triglycerides."

    That would be true for simple carbs. At the Pritikin center, which is high complex carb low fat, triglycerides and LDL plummet quickly, as seen in published reports (references at ). But we've repeated this many times. I guess I can't get away with "twisting the facts."

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to engineerguy's response:
    No one is twisting the facts.Each belives in a different approach to health and this belief in effect creates what you find.

    The scientific data is mixed.There are thousand of studies on both sides of this debate.But with all due respect to science I think in the final analysis we all go with our own personal experience.Science can tell me its going to be a bright dry clear day but if I get soaked in the rain which am I going to believe my own experience or the weather report?

    In my experience a plant based diet clears up very serious blood pressure and blood glucose problems.....but then those are just numbers so i take it on faith that those lower numbers are healthy....but I don't actually feel any better or have fewer problems.I have not experienced the miracles in health improvement that I read about from testimonials of those on the McDougall diet.(star McDougallers).

    But my weight is no longer 222,my blood pressure is no longer 210/110,and my fasting blood glucose is no longer 136.
    heretk replied to engineerguy's response:
    Re: At the Pritikin center, which is high complex carb low fat, triglycerides and LDL plummet quickly, as seen in published reports (references at ).

    It plumets because they tend to consume less calories than before on SAD. They do - look how thin, even emaciated many of the vegans are! That is not a good thing.
    heretk replied to heretk's response:
    Excess calories, of any kind ends up carried around in the blood stream as triglycerides then as LDL. Fat also ends up as TG (first thru chylomicrons stage then TG). Fat (esp sat) also leads to production of HDL in the liver. In addition, the small dense (SD) sub-population of LDL is synthesized also in the liver out of fructose (mostly) and glucose (starts as IDL then circulates as the SD LDL). Any low caloric diet would normally produce low total cholesterol, any hypercaloric - high total cholesterol. You don't believve me, EG? Try ovefeeding yourself with starchy vegetables for a few weeks and remeasure your total cholesterol!

    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    Heretic did accuse me of "twisting the facts". Actually he accued Dr. Mann of twisting the facts, because I was simply repeating Dr. Mann's conclusions that were clearly stated in his abstract.

    Re: "I have not experienced the miracles in health improvement that I read about from testimonials of those on the McDougall diet."

    At least you have not experienced the health issues that most people in the US are destined to experience. But it concerns me that you don't feel great.

    Do you take an iodine supplement? We are correct to avoid salt, but iodized salt is the primary source of iodine in people's diet. So, we should have an iodine supplement. Did you say you are taking Gentle Care? I do.

    Dr. Fuhrman has recently altered his Gentle Care supplements, by adding taurine (250mg/day in the men's gentle care). I am toying with taking taurine supplements. Dr. Fuhrman has recommended it for some people who do not thrive on a vegan diet, but do thrive, when adding 1 g/day of taurine supplements. He says athletes may feel a boost. A 70kg person contains about 70 grams of taurine. Taurine is present in animal protein, but not in vegetable protein. It is not one of the 8 essential amino acids, because we can make it from the 8 essential amino acids. But some people either need more, or do not make it as easily. At any rate, many people, especially athletes, feel a benefit from taking it. I was thinking of maybe 500mg a day.

    OK, Heretic, before you go nuts about how deficient vegan diets are because they don't have taurine, and (some) people feel better if they take a taurine supplement, check Red Bull. Red Bull, you will note, is drank mostly by people who eat lots and lots of meat. But Red Bull contains 1 gram of taurine also.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy
    jc3737 replied to engineerguy's response:
    Yes,I take one capsule per day of gentle care....I was taking two but that gets expensive.It contains kelp which has iodine.About once per week I take a taurine supplement so I'm happy that Gentle care will now contain taurine.

    I'm sure you realize that Dr McDougall says salt is OK and that it gets unjustly blamed.That may be what some studies show but I can say for sure any amount of salt has a major effect on my blood pressure....I am not able to tolerate salt at all.

    But I suspect he may be correct in advocating starches such as brown rice and potatoes(which I have at every meal).I just can not get enough calories if I stick with only beans and greens....but I do have beans and greens at every meal along with the starches.

    I get the best of both worlds by taking advice form both.
    jc3737 replied to heretk's response:
    Heretic,I agree by todays standards they look very very thin.I would not have been able to use any of them on my football team....but it was different in the past....the famous four horsemen of Notre Dame averaged about 145lbs and they were the best players in the country.

    "Outlined against a cold gray
    October sky the four horsemen rode again..." Grantland Rice

    So,Its standards that have changed as people have gotten bigger and bigger.....but that does not necessarily mean being shinny is unhealthy.

    The muscle and strength I spent a lifetime nuturing is largely gone and I am now very skinny....thanks to a plant based diet.....but my blood glucose and blood pressure are that of an 18 yr old.I'd rather be a skinny 90 yr old that a DEAD 220 lb muscular athlete.
    heretk replied to jc3737's response:

    I would rather be a 220lb healthy overweight than emaciated and weak. Based on my research and my understanding, being obese is not a direct health risk factor, it's what has led to that obesity that might be!

    Being skinny used to be associated with being weak, not with health and not with beauty! If you look at the perceived beauty and health (often synonymous) standards, plump but not too fat was the goal! There is an old wisdom in this. In films and art, thin women are not considered the most attractive, even now. Thin male characters are not typical heroes either.

    A skinny wrinkled muscle-less vegan body type may seem desirable to you but not to me.

    To me, those super-thin vegan promoters look a lot less healthy and completely unappealing as the athletic role models and seem more aged, than those other people labelled "fat" in that video, who seemed in the healthy body mass range but not very obese, appeared normal and healthy. There is a big difference in being thicker than average and being morbidly obese and there is a big difference on which particular type of food one become obese, or thin.

    If you get obese on carbohydrates then you are both obese and typically hyperinsulinemic. If you get obese on fat and meat then you just get obese without any of the other adverse hormonal risk factors. .

    Incidentally being thin and/or having normal blood glucose level does not preclude a possibility of having elevated blood insulin levels. That's why people who are thin or who maintain normal glucose level can be at a very high risk of heart attacks, if their blood insulin is always too high![br>
    Best regards,
    jc3737 replied to heretk's response:
    "To me, those super-thin vegan promoters look a lot less healthy and completely unappealing as the athletic role models and seem more aged, than those other people labelled "fat" in that video, who seemed in the healthy body mass range "

    But thats because we have gotten used to heavier people over the years...look at the 4 horsemen...145 avg wt.

    Also as the head wrestling coach most of my athletes(except for heavyweights and unlimited class) were skinny beyond belief. My wrestlers were always tring to get smaller and my football palyers were tring to get bigger.I don't know which were healthier because they were all so young and healthy due to age.

    You may be correct about blood glucose....Dolores kept her blood glucose at a level most teenagers would be happy with but that did not appear to help very much.....but what about blood pressure?I know from personal experience a plant based diet keeps blood pressure low.

    Do you know of a substantial body of evidence pointing to low fasting insulin level and health?....and is there any evidence that a plant based diet is associated with higher insulin levels?

    I will agree that on average meat eaters have a healthier and younger look to them( if they are not fat) but as we know its all about the insides .....arteries and organs.When we lose wt wrinkes show up because they are no longer filled in by fat,but I don't know if that means less healthy.

    Its just too early to tell who is right in this debate.I want to see how healthy Dr Fuhrman,Bernard,McDougall and Campbell are when they reach their 90s.No excuses for poor longevity accepted other than an accident.It does no good to avoid cardio disease if cancer or something else fills in the gap,so total longevity (free from serious health problems)is the only real test.
    engineerguy replied to jc3737's response:
    Hi jc,

    You would find "Healthy at 100" by John Robbins, a fascinating and informative book. It addresses many of your questions.

    Re: "Its just too early to tell who is right in this debate."

    Don't forget that the Pritikin center published that people going to the center to avoid bypass surgery, 80% of them never got the surgery, in a 5 year followup. That means that 80% of the people continued on the diet, at home on their own, successfully enough to not get the bypass surgery that their cardiologists had recommended.

    Best regards, EngineerGuy

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