I recently had my blood lipid panel done for a physical. My Physician was absolutely blown away, and the results astounded even me!
Here are my numbers:
- Total Cholesterol 192 mg/DL (physicians recommend total cholesterol below 200, but this number is subject to drug companies push for statins, and the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol is most important.)
- High Density Lipoprotein 158 mg/DL (above 50 is recommended)
- Triglycerides 18 (ideal is below 150).
Am I some kind of freak of nature? No–YOU can get numbers like this too–without medication!
The “Good” cholesterol HDL actually removes cholesterol from the blood stream and carries it to the liver for processing. This good cholesterol goes up in response to a healthy diet and consistent exercise.
The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio is a number that is helpful in predicting an individual’s risk of developing atherosclerosis. This number comes from dividing Total Cholesterol by HDL cholesterol.
High total cholesterol and low HDL are undesirable. A high ratio indicates higher risks of heart attacks, low ratios indicate lower risk.
An average ratio would be about 4.5. Of course you should be better than average if you can. So the best ratio would be LOW and about a 2 or 3 or less. Mine was 1.2. That according to my physician is off the charts, and any risk of heart attack is virtually nil.
Another ratio to check is LDL/HDL. The LDL/HDL ratio is actually a purer ratio than total cholesterol/HDL, because LDL is a measure of “bad’ cholesterol and HDL is a measure of “good” cholesterol.
The goal is to keep the ratio above 0.3, with the ideal HDL/LDL ratio being over 0.4. Mine was 5.27.
Both LDL and HDL are important for heart health. Lifestyle factors are key here. Although dietary changes can help lower LDL, raising the HDL numbers can be done with exercise and a healthy diet.
Triglyceride levels are actually one of the most important indicators of heart health–but this is something that can totally be controlled by a healthy lifestyle. Being overweight, physically inactive, smoking cigarettes and diet high in refined carbohydrates or sugar will make this number go up.
A healthy diet consisting of lean, all-natural, heart-healthy grass fed meats and vegetables like you will find in The Fat Burning Kitchen, instead of processed, packaged foods will give you a spectacular lipid panel too.
My diet consists of healthy grass fed meats, wild caught fish, free range chicken and free range eggs (from a nearby farm), whole raw milk, raw grass fed cheese, lots of grass fed butter, and generous amounts of coconut oil, rich in medium chain triglycerides.
So no low-fat diet for me! Does this sound like what your physician would recommend for lowering cholesterol and reducing heart attack risk? Not at all. But it is by far, the healthiest diet, believe me.
I eat very little grain and when I do, it is usually only whole brown rice, or quinoa. No wheat (especially processed wheat!), no corn whatsoever–including and especially high fructose corn syrup, very little sugar, unless it is naturally occurring in foods like fruits.
I love to eat TONS of fresh, raw and mostly locally grown raw produce, like raw fresh dark green salads with many other colorful vegetables added.
I snack on grass fed cheese (no crackers for me, but sometimes an apple or organic grapes with it), all natural beef jerky from USWM, and lots of nuts, especially those that are prepared without added oils.
Even though your doctor may have recommended vegetable oils, avoiding these inflammatory omega 6 rich vegetable oils like safflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and canola oils is the best thing you can do for your health. And NO TRANS FATS at all, ever!
Sound extreme? No really it isn’t. And yes, I have been known to actually eat a few French fries once in a great while, or nibble on dark chocolate–and even drink a beer or two.
I never go hungry, yet stay healthy and lean and feel great.
Because of all the propaganda that’s out there about cholesterol and saturated fats, you may think that cholesterol itself and saturated fats are harmful substances that should be avoided at all costs.
Many still do.
In fact, though, quite the opposite is true. Cholesterol is an essential element in our bodies. It is found in all the cells of the body, particularly in the brain and nerve cells.
Cholesterol is also used to make a number of other important substances: hormones (including the sex hormones), bile acids and, in conjunction with sunlight on the skin, vitamin D 3.
Our bodies uses large quantities of cholesterol every day and the substance is so important that, with the exception of brain cells, every body cell has the ability to make it.
So you see, saturated fats, especially those that come from naturally pastured, grass fed meats, cheeses, milk and wild caught fish full of healthy omega 3 fats are not the way to a heart attack, rather they are the way to good health and a healthy heart.
A Votre Sante!
Barry Groves, PhD, “The Great Cholesterol Lie”
By Peter Libby, “Atherosclerosis: The New View”, Scientific American, November 10, 2008.