Refined Foods Raise Your Cholesterol

Adapted from Dr. Fuhrman's book Cholesterol Protection For Life:

Once you start eating larger amounts and bigger portions of fruits and vegetables, you will naturally not have as much room for other food like processed or refined food (fake, man-made foods). These foods are lowest in nutrients and will sabotage your long term health. Processed foods are implicated in the scientific literature in the causation of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

When you take the whole wheat berry and process it into white flour to make white bread or pasta, more than 90% of the fiber and vitamin E, as well as more than 75% of the minerals, are lost. Your body breaks down the carbohydrate into simple sugars and the physiologic response is not much different than if you had consumed cotton candy. White pasta, white rice and white bread are just like sugar; because their fiber has been removed, these nutrient deficient foods are absorbed too rapidly. This, in turn, will raise glucose, triglyceride, and insulin levels in your blood. Refined grains are undesirable and will sabotage your weight-loss and cholesterol-lowering efforts.

All refined sweets are low in nutrients and fiber and are rapidly absorbed. These refined sweets include sugar, honey, corn syrup, molasses and corn sweeteners. They all contain insignificant amounts of nutrients (per calorie) and no fiber. More and more studies offer evidence that the consumption of these sweets and white-flour products are a significant cause of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.1

Getting thinner is extremely important to maximally lower your cholesterol and protect yourself from heart disease and cancer. As you get closer to your ideal weight, your weight loss will gradually slow down and then stop. Your body is a very intelligent "machine" and when you eat correctly, it will achieve its ideal weight.

In addition, if you consume a diet that contains 90-100% nutrient-dense food, you can practically disease-proof your body. Superior nutrition has such a powerful effect on the body's ability to defend itself against illness that it can force genetics to take a secondary role; therefore, our genetic weaknesses can remain at bay.

1. Jacobs Dr, Marquart L, Slavin J, Kushi LH, Whole grain intake and cancer, an expanded review and meta-analysis. Nutrition and Cancer 1998;30(2):85-90. Chatenoud L, Tavani A, La Vecchia C, et al. Whole grain intake and cancer risk. Int J Cancer 1998;77(1):24-28.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Sam - May 21, 2006 3:59 PM

Hi Dr Fuhrman! While I was excited to see this specific topic, I'm afraid I didn't quite get the supportive details in body of the post. What is the mechanism of causality between refined foods (the post seems focused on grains ) and higher cholesterol levels? It is pretty straight forward to understand the link between refined grains and diseases such as diabetes (for example:higher sugar levels -> high insulin requirement -> excess stress pancreas -> earlier pancreatic failure etc). But how does higher cholesterol result from refined foods? This has been on my mind since seeing high cholesterol results from your patients consuming less animal products ( . Note: the post doesn't state the patient was vegan; i.e. no animal products. (Sorry to post the long URL: comments don't seem to like html tags).

Can you also briefly explain the link between refined foods and triglyceride levels (as mentioned in your post)? That too seems to be an "indicator" most people bring up. Thank you!

teraneshia gaston - November 30, 2006 1:47 PM

tell me what types of foods raise your sugar.

K - December 30, 2006 3:05 PM

This is the first topic I have seen that states what I know and believe. It is reduction or elimination of refined foods that will reduce cholesterol.

What studies have you seen / done?


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