Odd Way to Cut Cholesterol--But It Works!

By cutting your carbohydrate intake, you'll also cut your cholesterol--even if you don't shed a pound in the process. The new study from researchers at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, Calif., concluded that carbohydrates, especially the simple sugars found in processed foods, can cause unhealthy changes in blood fats by causing them to collect in the liver, reports Reuters. Eventually, those fats make their way to the bloodstream, raising cholesterol. "These dietary fads tend to come and go," lead study author Dr. Ronald M. Krauss told Reuters Health. "In the case of low carbohydrates, people shouldn't be so quick to throw that away and move on to the next diet. Limiting carbohydrates can be beneficial even if people aren't successful at losing weight."
If you eat these carbohydrates as part of your daily diet, you won't gain weight--even as you age. Click to find out which carbs will keep you thin.

The study: For one week, a group of 178 overweight men were all given a standard diet that included 54 percent energy intake from carbohydrates, which is similar to a typical diet most of us consume every day. After that seven-day period, each man was randomly assigned to eat one of three diets for three weeks. The first was a continuation of the original one-week diet; the second was a 39 percent carbohydrate diet, while the third was a 26 percent carb diet. When this three-week period ended, the men continued eating a similar diet for five weeks; however, the calories were adjusted to produce a weight loss. For the final four weeks of the study, the diets were adjusted to stabilize their weight.

The results: Those who had the lowest carbohydrate intake showed the greatest reductions in harmful triglycerides and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and had the highest increase in the ratio of "good" HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol levels, reports Reuters. These healthy cholesterol changes occurred even if the men did not eat less saturate fat or lost weight.

How can you cut your carb intake to a level that is similar to the one used in this study? Kraus told Reuters it's relatively easy and much less restrictive than the Atkins diet. All you have to do is avoid "the kinds of food we don't need in our diet anyway-sugary foods, white rice, pasta, white bread," he said.