“Normal” cholesterol redefined.
Eight products put to the cholesterol-lowering test.
Of course the primary concern is not cholesterol in our gallbladder, but cholesterol in our coronary arteries, leading to our #1 cause of death, heart disease.
People come to me all the time and say “I don’t have to worry about what I eat because my cholesterol’s normal.” Well, having a normal cholesterol in a society in which it’s normal to die from heart disease, is not saying much. Having an average cholesterol means dying an average death. This, is from the Harvard Heart Letter. Once upon a time, average was thought to be perfectly OK, but, average cholesterol no longer makes the grade—lower is better. In fact way below average is the new target.
How low, can you go? We’re born with a total cholesterol down around 50… But then it quickly bounds upward, elevated by milk and fatty foods, generally breaking into the 200s by middle age… More raw material for making artery-clogging plaque.
The target is an LDL—the bad cholesterol, under 70, which means about a total cholesterol under 150. How do you do that? How do you get to total cholesterol of 150? Well, you could, move to the planet of the apes. Or just, eat a strictly plant-based diet.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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Pradhan SB, Joshi MR, Vaidya A. Prevalence of different types of gallstone in the patients with cholelithiasis at Kathmandu Medical College, Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ). 2009 Jul-Sep;7(27):268-71.
High marks for below-average cholesterol. For the best protection against clogged arteries and heart disease, average cholesterol no longer makes the grade--lower is better. Harv Heart Lett. 2006 Feb;16(6):4-5.
Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other videos on cholesterol. Also, there are 1,686 other subjects covered in the rest of my videos--please feel free to explore them as well!
For more context, check out my associated blog post, Stool Size and Breast Cancer Risk.
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