Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I thought I would take some time today and talk about HDL and LDL. There is more to these two nutrients than one being "good" and the other "bad".
 HDL, high density lipoprotein, is believed to carry cholesterol away from the tissues to the liver. Once in the liver there are various tasks HLD does. If there is enough, HDL can be excreted in the bile acids. In the CDT, common death trap, HDL is thought of as the good guy because it takes cholesterol away from the heart and other tissues. We are always encouraged to raise these levels, not that is a bad thing because it is not. Some of the ways to raise these levels is to eat fat, all of the fat we have talked about eating like eggs, whole raw milk, nuts, seeds fat on your meat as well as organ meat. Another great way to increase HDL is exercise. The best way is with aoribic exercise, walking, sprints high intensity weight training. We will talk about training in futures posts. I bet you have an idea that I am not an advocate of going for a run for two hours with how I eat, which I am not! We also need to understand there are things we can do to decrease our HDL levels and we want to avoid these. When consuming a low fat diet, what decrease is not cholesterol levels, but HDL levels, do not go low fat. Carbohydrates will have the same effect. The more carbs you eat, the higher your triglycerides will be and the lower your HDL. Another good reason to not eat grains, or many of them.
 LDL, low density lipoprotein, we know this guy as the bad guy. Let us look further into LDL to see if he really is all that bad. The reason the CDT believes they are bad is because LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the heart and other tissues. When you believe as they do, have more cholesterol in your blood stream being carried to your heart will be a bad thing. Because we know cholesterol is not a bad thing and by having more in our systems probably means the body is trying to heal itself from damages, then there has to be good in LDL. If you are thinking this way, pat yourself on the back! You are growing and beginning to understand health and nutrition, what they do not want you to know.
 Not all LDL is the same. You see there is some LDL found in things like egg yolks and butter that are light and fluffy, so to speak. What these do? They make it so the more dense forms cannot find ways into your arteries. They do not stick together forming clots. Think of it like clouds. The light fluffy cumulus clouds, make you happy, at least me, provide shade, light, not dense block out the rain clouds. Rain clouds on the other hand are dense, they packed together and bring rain and thunder and lightning. Bad example, but maybe you get the idea. We want and need LDL cholesterol to provide this protective mechanism, the more you have the less of a chance of heart disease you have. the dense stuff can not make it's way in.
When can LDL become bad, when it is oxidized. What do I mean by oxidized? It has been bombarded by oxygen and becomes a dangerous free radical. We have all heard of these, they have been receiving a lot of attention lately. We are beginning to understand just how bad they are. Once it is oxidized it promotes atherosclerosis which increases inflammation, a snow ball effect. In turn all of this causes heart disease.
 What are some things that can cause LDL to oxidize? Smoking, harmful chemicals, exercising to hard and then not consuming enough antioxidants, heating polyunsaturated oils, like olive oil, to high temperatures,  chair broiling your meat, stress is a big one. All the times you hear about free radicals, this is what they are talking about, oxidized LDL.
 With a better understanding of HD/ LDL and cholesterol, we can now venture into a better way of detecting heart disease risks. Just having your cholesterol checked and having a random number does not make much sense to say if you are going to have heart disease does it? The most sensitive way of determining your risk for heart disease is the ratio between cholesterol/HDL. The ratio result look something like this:
    * No risk : less than 3.5
    *  Low risk: 3.5-4.5
    * Medium risk: 4.5-5.5
    * High risk: greater than 5.5
For example: Say you go to your doctor and he does a cholesterol panel, checking your total cholesterol, HDL and LDL. When you receive your numbers back he tells you  your total cholesterol is 280, you would be told this is too high and you need to lower your cholesterol. You LDL is 180, which again would put you at high risk for heart disease according to him. Your HDL level is 76, which is perfect, you want it about 75. When we look at your ratio of cholesterol/HDL, 280/76 =3.7, no risk zone. Ask yourself, are those numbers really that bad and you need to fear you are going to have a heart attack? Or do you look at them and say, I have an enviable panel and need to continue eating all of my fat. I am going with option B! You see, there is a lot more to heart disease risks than having high cholesterol levels.
 If you have read the previous posts I have written, maybe you are wondering then what does cause heart disease, if it is not cholesterol and saturated fat? The main causes of heart disease are going to be stress, hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats, inflammation, oxidative stress and sugar. We have already looked into sugar and oxidative stress, but the rest we will go into more detail in later posts to understand why they cause heart disease.
Until next time, in the love of Christ,

No comments:

Post a Comment