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Keeping cholesterol optimal

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    Keeping cholesterol optimal

    This should be beneficial to everyone, but especially to us gear users.



    according to my research, diets that are restricted in carbohydrates not only lower triglycerides and raise HDL, they increase the size of LDL particles (that is actually a good thing, can anyone explain why this is?).

    the increase in size of the LDL particles tends to skew the LDL readings, making them higher (because the readings are based on weight). However, apparently large LDL particles directly correlate with lower levels of triglycerides.


    Is there anyone who is very knowledgeable in this field who can confirm/refute this?

    can someone post a link to threads that are similar to this one in terms of cholesterol levels?

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    dont mean to bump myself, but this should definitely be above the slimfast thread ffs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Donkey View Post
    This should be beneficial to everyone, but especially to us gear users.



    according to my research, diets that are restricted in carbohydrates not only lower triglycerides and raise HDL, they increase the size of LDL particles (that is actually a good thing, can anyone explain why this is?).

    the increase in size of the LDL particles tends to skew the LDL readings, making them higher (because the readings are based on weight). However, apparently large LDL particles directly correlate with lower levels of triglycerides.


    Is there anyone who is very knowledgeable in this field who can confirm/refute this?

    can someone post a link to threads that are similar to this one in terms of cholesterol levels?
    I know that triglycerides should be kept under 150 and simple sugars are related to it being elevated, but not complex carbs. I have never heard that restricting carbs will raise HDL. My understanding is the only thing that will raise it is meds and long, slow, distance exercise. I can't comment on the rest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    I know that triglycerides should be kept under 150 and simple sugars are related to it being elevated, but not complex carbs. I have never heard that restricting carbs will raise HDL.
    HDL is a surrogate of saturated fat intake. Glucose/starch generally has very little impact on triglycerides, while fructose tends to elevate them steadily.

    If your triglyceride/HDL ratio is below 3 you have pattern A (large, buoyant) LDL particles.

    As for increasing your LDL particle size, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol tend to increase particle size.
    Last edited by Arra; 04-13-2012 at 08:44 AM.

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    thanks bro, we need more posters to chime in

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    Forgot to address why LDL particles are better when they're bigger:

    The smaller an LDL particle is, the more easily it becomes oxidized is the simplest way I can put it.

    ScienceDirect.com - The American Journal of Medicine - Susceptibility of small, dense, low-density lipoproteins to oxidative modification in subjects with the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype, pattern B

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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    I know that triglycerides should be kept under 150 and simple sugars are related to it being elevated, but not complex carbs. I have never heard that restricting carbs will raise HDL. My understanding is the only thing that will raise it is meds and long, slow, distance exercise. I can't comment on the rest.
    Low-Carb Diets and Cholesterol: What does Science Say? not sure if that's a viable source at all?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Donkey View Post
    Low-Carb Diets and Cholesterol: What does Science Say? not sure if that's a viable source at all?
    I thought that was a good article actually. The idea of ldl particle size is new in terms of cardiac risk factors, so more research is needed. It's been established in the literature, and arra commented on it, that a reduction in fructose or simple carbohydrates results in a reduction in triglycerides. So, it would seem logical that a low carb diet would cause a drop in triglycerides, because it is limiting sugars. But, we also see a drop in patients who lower their intake of sugars but aren't specifically on a "low carb diet."

    I think the most important thing to keep in mind is that cholesterol levels are important. There are some who argue that cholesterol has no bearing on heart disease or stroke risk, but the literature is very supportive of the idea that there is an association between cholesterol levels and heart disease. I am interested to see more research on particle size though, I think this is the new area in cholesterol research, and an area that I'm ignorant on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arra View Post
    HDL is a surrogate of saturated fat intake. Glucose/starch generally has very little impact on triglycerides, while fructose tends to elevate them steadily.

    If your triglyceride/HDL ratio is below 3 you have pattern A (large, buoyant) LDL particles.

    As for increasing your LDL particle size, saturated fat and dietary cholesterol tend to increase particle size.
    Great information.


    Dr Robert Lustig/University of California/San Francisco

    This is one of the best indepth seminars on the negative effects of sugar on cholesterol readings.

    Seminar Notes

    Being anal, I took notes on where to find specific information from the lecture. Below is some information that relate to this topic. The time "book mark" is listed beside it for the refernce.

    13) LDL cholesterol may not be that bad. There are two LDLs.
    Pattern A-Fluffy LDL Neutral. Pattern B=Small LDL Bad. 36:26

    14) How can you tell if your LDL is the neurtal one or bad one? 37:48
    Triglycerides and HDL change with LDL sizing. (Patten A or B)
    Low Triglycerids/High HDL...Good

    High Triglycerides/Low HDL...You/re going to have a heart attack.
    No question about it. Ratio of Triglycerides to HDL better indicator of CHD
    that LDL.

    14) Dietary fat raises your Large bouyant LDL...the neutral LDL. 38:40
    Carbohydrate raises your Small Dense LDL...Bad choleserol

    Living the Low Carb Life
    Dr Johnny Bowden

    This book does a great job of examining the problems with high carb diets and fructose.

    Some notes from the book.

    6) How Does a Low-Carbohydrate Diet Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease. p 50
    a. Lowering insulin, certainly one of the most important.
    b. Increases HDL.
    c. Decreases Triglycerides.
    d. Triglycerides:HDL Ratio good predictor of heart disease
    Low Triglycerides:High HDL is GOOD.
    High Triglycerides:Low HDL is BAD

    My Personal Experience

    Some view their body as a temple where they worship. In other words, they eat health..or think they are doing so.

    I see my body as a lab experiment when I test drive ideas that may work.

    My Experiment

    I went on a low carbohydrate/high protein/high fat diet for close to a year.

    My fat intake ranged between 150 to 200 gram of fat a day. Half of my fat intake was saturaturaged fat.

    That means between 75 to 100 gram of fat a day was saturated fat.

    [U][B]My Results[U][B]

    Total Cholesterol: 193 (Below 200 is considered good)

    HDL: 56 (59 is considered excellent for my age)

    Triglycerides: 89 (Below 150 is recommended)

    LDL: 123 (Below 100 is recommended)

    Type A-Fluffy Good or Type B-Small Bad?

    Did I have more good or bad LDL.

    A good indicator of this is your HDL and Triclyceride reading: "...high triglycerides correlate strongly with high levels of the dangerous LDL-B particles. Low levels of triglycerides correlated with higher levels of the harmless LDL-As. In other words, the higher your triglycerides, the greater the chance that your LDL cholesterol is made up of the B-particles ( the kind that is way more likely to lead to heart disease." Living The Low Carb Life.
    How Does Low-Carb Diet Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease? page 50

    Another Option

    A second option is to have an LDL blood screen run.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Those numbers are not good at all. A majority of heart attacks occur in patients w a total cholesterol of 175.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    Those numbers are not good at all. A majority of heart attacks occur in patients w a total cholesterol of 175.
    i really dont think it's THAT simple bro..


    great post kenny

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standard Donkey View Post
    i really dont think it's THAT simple bro..


    great post kenny
    My point is that tens of thousands of people with cholesterol levels like that still get heart disease. We have set our number at 200 as a healthy goal, but people don't really avoid heart disease until they get below 150 for total cholesterol.

    I did a high carb, low fat diet and dropped my triglycerides from 400 to 140, my total from 230 to 165, my ldl from 160 to under a 100, and my hdl stayed the same at about 35. This took me 3 months to do. My carbs were about 60% of my total calories, with very little sugars and mostly whole food carbs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    My point is that tens of thousands of people with cholesterol levels like that still get heart disease. We have set our number at 200 as a healthy goal, but people don't really avoid heart disease until they get below 150 for total cholesterol.

    I did a high carb, low fat diet and dropped my triglycerides from 400 to 140, my total from 230 to 165, my ldl from 160 to under a 100, and my hdl stayed the same at about 35. This took me 3 months to do. My carbs were about 60% of my total calories, with very little sugars and mostly whole food carbs.
    Total cholesterol means very little.

    From the MONICA (monitoring of trends and determinants of cardiovascular disease) study

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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    Those numbers are not good at all. A majority of heart attacks occur in patients w a total cholesterol of 175.
    Total Choesterol

    The focus on the total cholesterol number is a poor indicator. What you end up with is a snap shot rather than the whole picture.

    Snap Shot Basketball Analogy

    Aliens come down from another planet and go see a basketball game. They then report back to their leader about what they learned.

    Playing basketball makes you tall and sitting in the bleachers make you short.

    That is the real problem with looking only at Total Cholesterol, the snap shot effect.

    Research

    The real indicator of problems lies in what you triglycedes and HDL are. That is what the research indicated.

    Lustig addresses this in his seminar and Bowden in his book.

    "Is Iron Making You Sick?"
    Untitled Document

    Another indicator of cholesterol and cardiovascular problems appears to be iron. This article goes into how high iron combined with high cholesterol levels trigger cardiovascular problems.

    Menopausal Women

    What the research indicated was that menausal women sufferened fewer heart attaches than men.

    Post Menopausal Women

    Research showed that women who stop having cycles have just about as many cardiovascular problems as men.

    Know Your Iron Levels

    One of the take home messages is to know your iron levels.

    High Iron Levels...What To Do

    1) Cut back on iron rich foods such as beef.

    2) Donate Blood. This accomplished the same results as women having periods. You decrease iron levels.

    Fat That Heal, Fats That KillUdo Erasmus

    This is a great book. Erasmus stated the same thing, high iron levels combined with high cholesterol appear to be a major contributor to cardivascular problems.

    The Cholesterol Myths
    Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD

    One of the interesting things that Ravnskov has found is that older individuals with higher cholesterol levels live longer.

    Total Cholesterol

    So, that brings back around to using Total Cholesterol as a measuring stick for cardiovascular problems. By itself, it tell you nothing.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arra View Post
    I'm aware that there is more to it than total cholesterol, I rehabilitate cardiac patients for a living. I was referring to his levels not being all that spectacular, which is what I think his point was in posting the numbers. His HDL was great, but his total and ldl were high.

    I then showed my levels while on a high carb diet and they were good too.

    The point that I'm trying to make is that carbs are not bad for us. It's a combination of sugars, lack of exercise, obesity, refined grains, genetics, processed meats etc. that lead to heart disease. The OP is repeatedly looking for confirmation that carbs are the ultimate villain. Many of his posts are asking about them and seeking confirmation of his preconceived ideas. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and quality protein is a healthy way to eat. I'm here to defend carbohydrates that come from whole food sources because a lot of bbers incorrectly label carbs as bad. It's the latest fad in diets.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    I'm aware that there is more to it than total cholesterol, I rehabilitate cardiac patients for a living. I was referring to his levels not being all that spectacular, which is what I think his point was in posting the numbers. His HDL was great, but his total and ldl were high.

    I then showed my levels while on a high carb diet and they were good too.

    The point that I'm trying to make is that carbs are not bad for us. It's a combination of sugars, lack of exercise, obesity, refined grains, genetics, processed meats etc. that lead to heart disease. The OP is repeatedly looking for confirmation that carbs are the ultimate villain. Many of his posts are asking about them and seeking confirmation of his preconceived ideas. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and quality protein is a healthy way to eat. I'm here to defend carbohydrates that come from whole food sources because a lot of bbers incorrectly label carbs as bad. It's the latest fad in diets.
    Your statement was "people don't really avoid heart disease until they get below 150 for total cholesterol" which doesn't fit the WHO's data. That is what I'm referring to. I don't think Kenny's large buoyant LDL is a problem, it is the oxidation of LDL we're worried about.

    Not to knitpick, but you most likely have a mixture of pattern A/B (good and bad) LDL at a TG/HDL ratio of 4. Kenny was well below 2.

    I don't think carbs are inherently bad, as evidence by vegetarians who eat no meat and have good HDL and triglycerides. Latest fad in diets? Atkins was 70's when he started I believe. Lack of carbohydrates for bodybuilders is non-sensical. And all of this "insulin makes you fat" is a load of bullocks (at least postprandial insulin), but so many people were taken in by Gary Taubes' "Lipophilia Hypothesis" (which has changed a grand total of four times within 5 years).

    Different people will react differently to diets, no one-size-fits-all will ever show up any time soon.

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    Not to knitpick, but you most likely have a mixture of pattern A/B (good and bad) LDL at a TG/HDL ratio of 4. Kenny was well below 2.
    Yes, this is genetic for me. It doesn't matter if I eat low fat, high fat, high carb, low carb, my HDL does not budge. I do tons of cardio too.

    I don't think carbs are inherently bad, as evidence by vegetarians who eat no meat and have good HDL and triglycerides. Latest fad in diets? Atkins was 70's when he started I believe. Lack of carbohydrates for bodybuilders is non-sensical. And all of this "insulin makes you fat" is a load of bullocks (at least postprandial insulin), but so many people were taken in by Gary Taubes' "Lipophilia Hypothesis" (which has changed a grand total of four times within 5 years).

    Different people will react differently to diets, no one-size-fits-all will ever show up any time soon.
    Finally someone not on the "carbs are bad" kick. And, yes low carb diets have been around for about century, but they go in and out of popularity like some other fads.

    the no one-size fits all statement is incredibly accurate, and I also think the human body can find good health in many different types of diets, except the american diet. (paraphrased from a stanford nutrition professor)
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    I'm aware that there is more to it than total cholesterol, I rehabilitate cardiac patients for a living. I was referring to his levels not being all that spectacular, which is what I think his point was in posting the numbers. His HDL was great, but his total and ldl were high.
    "Those numbers are not good at all."

    What you indicated in you statement was that none of my numbers were really that good.

    Thus, what I find offensive is pigeonholing my "numbers are not good at all."

    Let me reiterate that snap shots like that aren't a good idea.

    As I noted, my Total Cholesterol was good. It certainly wasn't bad.

    My HDL and Triglycerides were pretty much in the great catagory. My HDL was close to the top the really good scale area and my Triglycerides were 89 were in the really good area, with the recommendation being that they be below 150.

    LDL Level

    I noted my LDL reading was 123, with the recommendation that it need to be below 100.

    Good or Bad LDL

    What you really need to know is what type of LDL have more of...the good or bad.

    High HDL/Low Triglycerides

    Again, one of the primary indicators of having Type A Good LDL is high HDL/Low Triglycerides. Thus, it appears that even though my LDL is high, it high in Type A Good rather than Type B Bad.


    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    The point that I'm trying to make is that carbs are not bad for us. It's a combination of sugars, lack of exercise, obesity, refined grains, genetics, processed meats etc. that lead to heart disease. The OP is repeatedly looking for confirmation that carbs are the ultimate villain. Many of his posts are asking about them and seeking confirmation of his preconceived ideas. A diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and quality protein is a healthy way to eat. I'm here to defend carbohydrates that come from whole food sources because a lot of bbers incorrectly label carbs as bad. It's the latest fad in diets.
    I totally agree.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    Yes, this is genetic for me. It doesn't matter if I eat low fat, high fat, high carb, low carb, my HDL does not budge. I do tons of cardio too.

    Finally someone not on the "carbs are bad" kick. And, yes low carb diets have been around for about century, but they go in and out of popularity like some other fads.

    the no one-size fits all statement is incredibly accurate, and I also think the human body can find good health in many different types of diets, except the american diet. (paraphrased from a stanford nutrition professor)
    Interesting! You may want to get your C-Reactive Protein checked, as it is inversely correlated with HDL - just a thought.

    Yep, a whole macronutrient category shouldn't be demonized. The quality of carbohydrates is far more important than disbanding them 24/7/365.

    Indeed, the SAD is indeed not healthy, can't imagine eating a Big Mac a day and having any kind of health.

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    Excelent debate. Thank you, gentleman.

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    Yeah, these guys know their shit.
    Most of the time there is a lag between the research side and the clinical side. Particle size isn't even discussed in cardiology yet. I've never heard a cardiologist even mention it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exphys88 View Post
    The OP is repeatedly looking for confirmation that carbs are the ultimate villain. .
    nope. in fact, im eating 200 grams of carbs worth of oatmeal right now (2 hours pre-workout), im going to have another 50 grams 1 hour pre-workout.

    carbohydrates are definitely not the villain, they just need to be put in their appropriate place (which i feel is exclusively pre-workout). Sugar however, i feel is the villain. Please adjust your perspective of my beliefs so it reflects reality.

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