I am quite confident that most people know that there is bad and good cholesterol. Bad cholesterol, the goon, the neighbourhood hoodlum, the tyrant you must avoid confrontation with at all times…known as LDL. The angel, the Good Samaritan, the helpful neighbour or the kind boss, HDL.
When my beloved family physician orders my lipid profile, I know I am going to get a lecture about my bad cholesterol being really really bad. “Your bad cholesterol is borderline high. I might need to prescribe you a statin to bring it down.” That is probably the best case scenario!
Listening to these physicians, one would think that it is all about the LDL, but it really isn’t. When assessing your risk for heart disease, a high LDL cholesterol isn’t one of the most prominent risk factors. The Framingham score is the go to risk calculator for heart disease and it is based off the following criteria:
- Total Cholesterol
- If a cigarette smoker
- HDL Cholesterol (The higher this number, the lower the risk for heart disease).
- Systolic blood pressure
I had a checkup with a cardiologist on January 2015. This is what the doctor had to say:
“This gentleman has no symptoms but significant risk factors. Calculating his FRS as a non-diabetic I get a figure of 6.7. If we do calculate him as a diabetic the figure rises to 11.2. He moves up one category with elevated hs-CRP and given his family history of premature heart disease I am concerned about this gentleman.”
BTW, very happy to be referred to as a gentleman! Continuing….
“He also has a dyslipidemic ratio with high triglycerides and low HDL. In my opinion, he is clearly at significant risk. He should be on a statin.” (This was in bold in his concluding paragraph).
This seems like a death sentence. Had I seen this report then, I would have quaked in my boots. Beads of sweat would flow down my forehead, my heartbeat would have started racing, maybe a constricted artery or two would have caused a heart attack…luckily I dodged that bullet.
After my recent education in diet and nutrition, having reversed my diabetes naturally, the conclusions mentioned above don’t really make sense. The physician talks about the Framingham risk score, talks about diabetes, talks about inflammation (hs-CRP) and about high triglycerides and low HDL, but in the end wants to prescribe statins to lower LDL!!!! WHAAAT!?
So why are physicians so hell bent on reducing your LDL and unable to show you ways to increase your HDL? Because the only known way to increase HDL is to eat….wait for it….SATURATED FAT! Yes, the very foods every physician, every dietician who subscribes to the diet heart hypothesis asks you to remove from your diet are the only foods that can increase your HDL!
Let me share with you my lipid profile from January 2015.
Triglycerides: 3.07; Cholesterol 5.65; HDL: 1.02; LDL: 3.23
As the good doctor mentioned, the most concerning piece here is the ratio between triglycerides and HDL. 3.07/1.02 = 3.01 The optimal ratio is 0.87. So by this measurement I wasn’t doing so well. So why didn’t he show me a way to reduce triglycerides and increase HDL? Maybe it can’t be done, maybe the only lipid one can manipulate into submission is a high LDL number, which by the way isn’t such an important risk factor and to manipulate it lower one needs to take statins.
But wait, let me share with you my cholesterol numbers after I managed to reverse my diabetes. This was February 2017…only 4 weeks after I changed my diet!
Triglycerides: 1.21; Cholesterol 6.35; HDL: 1.39; LDL: 4.41
As you can see, that ratio we calculated up above is as follows: 1.21/1.39 = 0.87! How can this be? How did the ratio change within 4 weeks of changing my diet? And by chance it was the exact optimal ratio they want! Because the sure fire way to bring down triglycerides is to reduce or eliminate refined carbohydrates. My triglycerides reduced by 60%! My HDL increased by a stunning 36%! Because the only way to raise HDL is to eat saturated fat!
A high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet gives you exactly what the doctor’s ask for in your cholesterol profile. They change your lipid profile to the most beneficial ratios in weeks! But the medical profession will not, actually cannot prescribe this treatment, because if they do, what about the six decades of advice to eat more refined carbs and reduce saturated fats! How will they save face? And who will by statins? How will the poor pharma execs rake in money hand over fist?
It is important to note that the lipid profile numbers medicine wants is only possible by actually doing the exact opposite in terms of nutritional recommendation. For most who listen to their doctors, follow guidelines laid out by their governments they can never hope to give up medication and turn their numbers around. It is indeed a con job by big food and big pharma.
Some will question the increased LDL numbers. Well LDL also rises when saturated fats are consumed, just like HDL does. But that isn’t a problem, because even though LDL is labelled as “bad,” it really isn’t. The latest research into cholesterol heart hypothesis firmly debunks that high LDL is a concern. LDL particle size changes when eating a low carb high fat diet. From small dense particles to light and fluffy cotton candy particles which cannot go through artery walls. This is cute and cuddly LDL, I am giving mine a big hug.