A recent study by the National Institutes of Health was reported in The New York Times today. The study found that those people who ate a low-carb diet and more fat actually lost weight and improved their HDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides. This caught my attention as it relates to my dietary experience and giving up gluten.
My cholesterol and triglycerides were high before I went gluten free. I remember my doctor being concerned about the elevated numbers and asking me what I had eaten the night before my lab tests. My dinner was a wonderful meal of whole wheat spaghetti, crusty Italian bread dipped in garlic olive oil, and a salad. Of course, I couldn’t resist and had seconds. Doesn’t everyone who eats this classic menu have seconds? My doctor told me never to eat that way again. His view was that the carbohydrate rich meal had put my cholesterol and triglycerides over the top.
I stopped eating gluten two years ago. Since then my cholesterol and triglycerides have decreased drastically. This New York Times article by Anahad O’Connor states, “In the end, people in the low-carbohydrate group saw markers of inflammation and triglycerides — a type of fat that circulates in the blood — plunge. Their HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, rose more sharply than it did for people in the low-fat group.” The people who ate a low-carb diet and more fats improved their cholesterol and lowered their inflammation and triglycerides. This is good news!
My experience supports this study. Now that I live a gluten-free lifestyle, my cholesterol, triglycerides, and inflammation have also greatly improved. I believe that there is more to this. Studies prove that people who are sensitive (intolerant) to wheat have increased inflammation, higher cholesterol, and triglycerides. This is outlined clearly in Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD.
Let’s look at the study from the perspective of wheat. If people are eating a low-carb diet and more fat, then they are clearly not eating as much wheat. For me, the equation was wheat = inflammation, high cholesterol, and triglycerides. I look forward to science putting this together.