Dietary cholesterol (cholesterol found in the foods you eat) is no longer on the ‘nutrients of concern’ says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. P 18
If you’re concerned about heart disease then you will benefit from knowing that insulin is the main culprit. P 245
Folks who live the longest typically have higher [total number] cholesterol. P 246
LDL gets a bad rap!
When it comes to LDL, the metrics you want are the number and size of these particles. You want them to be big and fluffy, not small and dense. An advanced lipoprotein test measures for these. P 246-7
As per the Framingham Heart Study, Dr. William P. Castelli says, “Unless LDL levels are very high (300 Mg/dL(7.8 mold/l) or higher), they have no value, in isolation, in predicting those individuals at risk of CHD.” P 247
“The [total-to-HDL] ratio was found to be a better predictor of [coronary heart disease] than [total cholesterol], LDL, HDL, and triglyceride in both the Framingham Study and the Physicians Health Study. P 248. This ratio reflects your Insulin Resistance status and not that you have an issue with your cholesterol per se. P 255
Cholesterol is critical for keeping us alive and healthy.
Cholesterol is not the bad guy. The system that manages it can become dysfunctional, and that’s when problems arise. P 248
Cholesterol and triglycerides ride around in lipoprotein ‘boats’. Extra fat in your blood = too many triglycerides in your blood. What typically increases fats in the blood? Too many carbohydrates in the way people eat. P 249
Issues with insulin are ‘ intricately connected’ with the following diseases: T2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and stroke. P 233
Insulin resistance is key in the origin of age-related diseases. Insulin predicts disease. It is best to keep insulin in the normal range to stay healthy. P 234
Your weight doesn’t predict your health.
The health of your fat tissue does. How much fat you have isn’t the issue. P 234
Have you ever heard of TOFI? Thin outside, fat inside. These folks are slender, but have unhealthy, insulin resistant, inflamed fat cells. P 234
Eating the wrong foods can mess up your VLDL, LDL, & HDL. You want your HDL high.
A low HDL is directly correlated with insulin resistance. P 251
VLDL is made by the liver. It carries cholesterol and triglycerides as its cargo. When you eat too many carbs, the VLDL particles become large with extra triglycerides. Not good. These separate out into small, dense LDL’s (we want big and fluffy remember?) that can’t transport as much cholesterol, therefore you need more LDL boats driving around. P 251.
With more LDL boats in our blood, it means more boats being exposed to oxidative damage. And damages the LDL boats themselves. This dysfunction damages the endothelium (inner walls of the artery) p 251
Our immune system now has to work overtime mopping up the damaged LDL boats, meaning the ravaged LDL boats stay in the blood twice as long as normal. P 252
Where do these damaged LDL boats like to congregate? In those inflamed arterial walls we mentioned earlier. By hanging out where they aren’t supposed to, it leads to arterial blockages and, eventually, heart attacks p 251
Insulin resistance is what drives oxidized LDL and helps link a high LDL count to higher disease rates. P 252 Insulin Resistance promotes damage and weakness in your arteries via high blood pressure, high blood glucose, and more.
This is why Insulin Resistance is the primary factor in heart disease; focusing on cholesterol is merely a smokescreen. P 252
HDL is a warrior at keeping and protecting LDL in fine-working order. Keep eating crap and eventually it will break down. No more healthy HDL boats in circulation means you’ll pay the price and it’ll be expensive! How do you keep your HDL in fine working order?
Keep your insulin and Insulin Resistance low. P 254
Insulin Resistance leads to too much triglycerides in the system, crowding out cholesterol. HDL works diligently to get the extra triglycerides out of the body, yet becomes poisoned with it, lowering HDL levels.
Low HDL is a big red flag that you’re in trouble!
High triglycerides tells us that your insulin is high and you have Insulin Resistance p 256
High triglycerides means the LDL boats are past capacity and are struggling to do their job. P 257
Focus on the ratios below, which are a true indicator of metabolic health.
Triglycerides/HDL is the best indicator for real risk. Optimal is below 1.2 or 1. Below a 2 is good.
This ratio indicates the severity of atherosclerosis in humans whereas LDL does not. 258
Why isn’t this being used more frequently? Dogma. They can’t admit they fucked up. Also, there aren’t any drugs that can reduce this ratio. We know it’s all about the money. Follow the money! P 258
This ratio also lets us know how dysfunctional our insulin is. 258
Eat less carbs and more good fats and protein. 258
AIP is another great ratio to calculate. 258. You’ll need your triglyceride and HDL numbers to calculate it. 258
Total cholesterol/HDL is also good at indicating if your body is metabolically unhealthy and shows you how at risk you are for heart disease. Good is below a 5, lower than a 4 is optimal. You can do this by lowering your insulin levels. P 259
LDL/HDL shows you just how bad your IR is. Having a high HDL with a low LDL is alarming. You want this ratio below a 3.5. P 260
If you really want the creme de la creme of ratios, calculate APOB/APOA1
This looks at the actual numbers of particles themselves. P 262. If you have a family history of hypercholesterolemia, this will be beneficial to know.
People who are insulin sensitive have more HDL and less LDL. P 262
I will put together a spreadsheet sharing my numbers of my cholesterol and how it has improved since going from vegetarian to low carb.
There is great information in this book: Eat Rich Live Long by Ivor Cummins & Jeffry Gerber MD. I highly recommend reading it and doing the math to keep your body healthy.
Will you exist or THRIVE?
Take good care everyone!