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Rethinking Diabetes and Cholesterol

Two new studies add an interesting dimension to our dietary debates!

1. Omega 3’s Fight Diabetes

Reinforcing the ongoing evidence that diabetes is an unnecessary epidemic borne of misguided dietary guidelines, a new study shows that simply eating “smart fats” can help reduce the risk of diabetes. But there’s a twist: we’re not talking about type 2. The study shows that children who eat a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are less likely to develop type 1 diabetes – even with a family history of the disease. The epidemic of type 2 already has an established link to diet. JAMA reports [1]; scientists participating in the study say the implications are big. Might early dietary interventions prevent both types of diabetes?

2. LDL or HDL?

LDL – bad cholesterol – has long dominated the focus of heart disease research and treatment. (Hello, statins!) But a new study [2] finds that HDL – good cholesterol – may be more important in preventing cardiovascular events. HDL protects the heart and “mops up” bad cholesterol, and it may be more effective to concentrate on raising good cholesterol than lowering bad cholesterol. The standard treatment theory has held that reducing LDL would render concerns about HDL unnecessary (meaning as long as one were taking statins, there’d be no need to worry about boosting the good cholesterol). Lo and behold, it appears the opposite may be true. Even when LDL is successfully reduced, the impact of a high or low HDL level had much greater significance. However, efforts to develop HDL-raising drugs have met with failure (talk about digging a hole to put in a ladder to wash the basement windows). The solution, say the experts? Wouldn’t you know: staying trim and exercising!

Bottom line: dietary interventions with healthful fats from wild salmon, olive oil, nuts, flax, seeds, soybeans, and grass-fed meats are a smart defense against disease for children and adults alike.

Fish Photo [3], Pills Photo [4]

Further reading:

Want to get diabetes? Follow the diabetes dietary guidelines! [5]

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