The Nation's Health + [Nutrition]

Nutrition: Trapped in a low-fat world

If you would like to...

--Reduce (good) HDL

--Raise triglycerides, sometimes by hundreds of points

--Raise blood sugar into the pre-diabetic range

--Raise blood pressure

--Accelerate coronary plaque growth

then go on a low-fat diet like the one promoted by long-time super low-fat advocate, Dr. Dean Ornish. Every day I have to educate patients that a low-fat diet as advocated by Dr. Ornish is a destructive, counter-productive process that makes coronary plaque grow and increases your heart scan score.

If you want to gain control over coronary plaque, do not follow the Ornish program or anything resembling it. The Ornish program is a dead end.

Instead, the crucial components of a healthy diet for plaque control are:

--Low saturated and hydrogenated fat, but not low all fats.

--High monounsaturated and omega-3 fats

--Low glycemic index (i.e., slow sugar release)

--High fiber

That simple. An excellent program to put these limits to practical use is the South Beach Diet. Or, follow the more detailed guidelines on the Track Your Plaque website (open content section).