New Target Cholesterol

New Target Cholesterol
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“Normal” cholesterol redefined.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 okay.” 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? Well, 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 a total cholesterol around under 150. How do you do that? How do you get a total cholesterol of 150? Well, you could move to the planet of the apes. Or, just eat a strictly plant-based diet.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Pete via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

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 okay.” 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? Well, 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 a total cholesterol around under 150. How do you do that? How do you get a total cholesterol of 150? Well, you could move to the planet of the apes. Or, just eat a strictly plant-based diet.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Pete via flickr

Doctor's Note

Check out these more recent videos on cholesterol:
Optimal Cholesterol Level
Switching from Beef to Chicken & Fish May Not Lower Cholesterol
The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument

And check out my other videos on cholesterol

For more context, see my associated blog post: Stool Size & Breast Cancer Risk.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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