(...continued) ▼Processed carbohydrates are more of a threat to cholesterol, and especially triglycerides levels than fats. Processed carbohydrates are concentrated carbohydrates--it's much too easy to overindulge. Take wheat, for example. As a whole, unprocessed grain, the only way the wheat "berry" can by eaten, is cooked in a porridge. In that form, you'd maybe eat it once or twice a week, if that. But look at what the food processing industry has done for (or should I say "to"?) the lowly wheat berry! There's bread for starters, both whole wheat and white, not to mention "potato" and raisin. Then there are bagels, english muffins, hard rolls, dinner rolls, biscuits, quick breads, crackers of all sorts, donuts, pastries, pies, cakes, cookies, muffins, cupcakes, snack cakes, a plethora of pastas, macaroni, and noodles. There's wheat in gravies and sauces, some soups and even soy sauce. Now add up how many times a week (or day) you eat that lowly wheat berry! The same can be said for corn. Corn may even be consumed
more often because of its use as a sweetener by the food processing industry. You've seen "high fructose corn syrup" on labels, right? Sugar, whether it's made from sugar cane (again, a processed food), sugar beets, or corn, is the ultimate carbohydrate. This "food" has been processed so much that there's no nutrition left; it's just pure carbohydrate, and concentrated at that. Even if you don't eat much food, you get an unproportionally high intake of carbohydrates, which are a major component of triglycerides. It's like adding fuel to the fire. It just makes it too easy for your body to make triglycerides. And because of the decreased ability of your body to clear triglycerides and cholesterol they build up in the blood.
One last point: Cholesterol becomes a problem when it becomes oxidized, or damaged by nasty little by-products of metabolism called free radicals. There's no avoiding free radicals, but we can protect against them with something called "anti-oxidants". Antioxidants help cells and molecules avoid oxidation by acting like a shield and sacrificing themselves instead. The best antioxidants are certain vitamins and minerals like vitamins C and E, Betacarotene and other
carotinoids, selenium and lipoic acid. It's a good idea to take them in a supplement (ask a nutritionist for the dose that's right for you), but it also makes good sense to get them through your food. The best source of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
Hmmm?.Let's see: If I eat
more fruits and vegetables, I'll probably eat less of other foods like chips, soda, and cookies, right? In other words, I'll be