Claire has small LDL particles. Small LDL particles are the #1 most common abnormality leading to coronary disease, heart attack, as well as procedures like stents and bypass surgery. (No, it’s NOT high cholesterol!)
At the start of her program, Claire had 870 nmol/L small LDL particles (measured by the NMR lipoprotein method), a moderately high value, representing 60% of total LDL particles. It was certainly not attributable to being overweight (as is often argued), as she was quite slender, only 115 pounds at 5 ft 3 inches. So I counseled Claire on how to eliminate wheat and limit exposure to other carbohydrates, especially other grains, corn, and sugars, to reduce the expression of small LDL. Most people who follow this regimen drop small LDL particles to zero within just a few months–not with cholesterol drugs, but with this shift in food choice.
But Claire failed to hear me say “Never eat gluten-free foods made with the junk carbohydrate ingredients, cornstarch, rice starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch.” Because her daughter was “gluten-free” due to a “gluten-sensitivity,” Claire started purchasing gluten-free pasta made with rice starch, along with occasional gluten-fee multigrain bagels and rolls.
A repeat lipoprotein panel showed 1597 nmol/L small LDL particles—a near-doubling of her starting value.
The most common ingredients used to replace wheat flour in gluten-free products–rice starch, tapioca starch, cornstarch, and potato starch–are chosen because they provide a reasonable facsimile of wheat flour in baked products. But these are among the few foods that have a glycemic index higher than even that of wheat! So, sure, gluten-free multigrain bread or pasta does not cause appetite stimulation like the gliadin protein of wheat, nor do they cause intestinal destruction like the wheat germ agglutinin in wheat, nor do they trigger allergies like the alpha amylase inhibitors in wheat–they “only” cause sky-high blood sugar and, with it, formation of extravagant quantities of small LDL particles.
Those nice people who make gluten-free foods with junk carbohydrate ingredients don’t know that their products cause coronary disease and heart attacks, cataracts, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, inflammation, and growth of visceral fat. Note that the small LDL particles triggered by gluten-free carbohydrates, as in Claire’s example, persist for 10 days after one indulgence. In other words, if Claire only has a gluten-free slice of bread or a bagel every 10 days, she has small LDL particles and risk for heart disease 7 days a week, 30 days a month, 12 months a year.
So, among the several deleterious effects of gluten-free junk carbohydrates is triggering of small LDL particles, the most common cause for coronary disease and heart attack in North America today. Gluten-free foods made with cornstarch, rice starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch are poisons to your heart.