Determining Coronary Heart Disease Risk with Cholesterol Levels and Ratios.

This is my second post on cholesterol. 

I’ll link my previous post about the basics of cholesterol here.

In this post I’ll cover cholesterol in more depth, including the important of ratios, total cholesterol, and more. 

The last post included the more widely recognized cholesterol numbers as they relate to risk factors for atherosclerosis, an indicator for coronary heart disease (CHD). The Editor and Chief of the American College of Cardiology said over a decade ago that he recommends an upper total cholesterol of 150 mg/dl or 60 mg/dl of LDL Cholesterol (average vegan) and that all other factors aren’t as a accurate of predictor of CHD as total cholesterol. 

What’s the importance of HDL Cholesterol as it relates to LDL Cholesterol?

Well High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol is thought to be the “good” cholesterol. This is because while HDL and Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), “bad” have a relationship, HDL acts as a cleaner by moving through blood vessels and sticking to the LDL and carrying them out of the body.

You may have heard that in the past, but even this has hidden truth. That is, while HDL is better it is not necessarily “good” because even it acts to increase the risk factor of developing atherosclerosis. You see, there are many different sizes of the HDL and LDL Cholesterol. Larger soft LDL is thought to be better because it is more easily transported by HDL, while this may be true, with a more in-depth look at the science, soft LDL increases CHD risk by %44 compared to 63% of the small dense LDL Cholesterol. As for HDL, well even it increases CHD risk by up %54.

Me? I want zero risk personally. 

The Optimal Ratio of HDL to Total Cholesterol

One predictor used to measure CHD risk is the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. This is thought to be a better predictor of CHD risk factor than HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio. The recommended minimum ratio of HDL total cholesterol is below 5, optimal being below 3.5 according to the American Heart Association who aren’t known for their strict guidelines.

What’s the Best Predictor of CHD? 

There are a couple other suggested tools for predicting your risk factors of CHD. Along with cholesterol as a tool, triglyceride levels are commonly used, and a test to review your C-reactive protein are all useful indicators of your bodies level of overall internal health. C-reactive protein gives you an indicator of the overall inflammation in your body and the triglycerides tells you how much free flowing fat there is in your blood stream. 

The two best tools that require short test from you doctor are you total cholesterol levels and the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol. 

Optimally, a cholesterol level below 150 mg/dl and a total to HDL cholesterol ratio of below 3.5 are our best known guarantee to make you heart attack proof. The reason both should be used together as predictors of CHD risk is because even HDL cholesterol isn’t harmless and as your total cholesterol rises it’s impossible to escape declining heard disease risk, even if your ratios are optimal. 

Cholesterol is Important

Our bodies make all the cholesterol we need. It serves important roles in the body; creating hormones is the commonly known one. When we don’t eat cholesterol we still have some in our bodies and this is the same for when we are born at birth as is for our fellow primates too. Though cholesterol is important it’s good to remember that the worlds #1 killer around is coronary heart disease and the #1 predictor of heart disease is atherosclerosis a cause of cholesterol.

Thank You 

Choose foods without any cholesterol. It so happens that plants don’t contain cholesterol and the only “food” that has cholesterol is animal products.

The top food groups are:

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Starches – Potatoes, whole, and sprouted grains
  4. Legumes
  5. Nuts & Seeds
  6. No oil
  7. Lots of water

I hope this information finds you well and if it doesn’t consider talking to your doctor to get checked with a simple blood test. 

Please like, share, and subscribe! 

Thank You!

Carson McQuarrie

dr-kim-cardiologist-vegan-quote

nutritionfacts.org/video/does-cholesterol-size-matter/

nutritionfacts.org/video/cholesterol-crystals-may-tear-though-our-artery-lining/

nutritionfacts.org/video/optimal-cholesterol-level/

nutritionfacts.org/video/heart-attacks-and-cholesterol-dying-under-normal-circumstances/

nutritionfacts.org/video/heart-attacks-and-cholesterol-purely-a-question-of-diet/

http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(10)01954-5/abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747394/

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/finding-the-ideal-cholesterol-ratio?page=2

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/cholesterol-ratio#2

http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/making-sense-of-cholesterol-tests

archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=752318

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747394/

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How High is Too High Cholesterol (& Why)

Hello Again,

In previous posts I’ve covered what is a too high of blood pressure and why. In this post I’ll uncover the concern about cholesterol so you know the basics of how cholesterol effects your body.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance found in your body. It’s made of fat and protein molecules combined. It’s used to produce hormones, Vitamin D (which is actually a hormone), and substances that allow you to digest food.

There’s typically known to be two types of cholesterol, HDL & LDL. Though they’re more types of cholesterol but for the these purposes that’s all you need to know. HDL is known as the “good” cholesterol and LDL is known as the “bad” cholesterol. The reason they’ve got those labels is because HDL acts as a cleaner and discards the LDL “bad” cholesterol, which is good. Keep in mind, that even though they’re labeled “good” & “bad”, they should really be known as “bad” and “worse”. The reason being in because when both are high the benefits diminish and at some point it can be dangerous.

What is a Healthy Cholesterol?

Well, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine a healthy total cholesterol is 200 or less per milligrams/deciliter. A borderline total cholesterol is 200 – 239mg/dl, and very high would be higher than 239 mg/dl. On the other side of the spectrum a too low of cholesterol, particularly HDL, can be unprotective against heart disease.

Micheal Gregor and researchers from NutritionFacts.Org suggest that an optimal healthy total cholesterol is around 150 mg/dl and a optimal HDL cholesterol is 50 – 70 mg/dl.

HDL Cholesterol

Unhealthy HDL cholesterol for Men: Less than 40 mg/dl

Unhealthy HDL cholesterol for Woman: Less than 50 mg/dl

Healthy HDL cholesterol for both is above 60 mg/dl

LDL Cholesterol

Optimal LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dl

Above optimal LDL cholesterol: 100 – 129 mg/dl

Borderline high LDL cholesterol: 130 – 159 mg/dl

High LDL cholesterol: 160 – 189 mg/dl

Very high LDL cholesterol: 190 mg/dl cholesterol_scale

The Dangers of High Cholesterol

As the cholesterol in your blood increases so the formation of plaques.These plaques are made up of mostly cholesterol, saturated fat mostly, and calcium. The formation of plaques is the start of developing atherosclerosis, also known as heart disease, which leads to a heart attack and/or angina.

Angina is a crushing chest from the lack of oxygenated blood getting to your heart.

These plaques get thicker and harder over time and impair the function of your arteries to Causes of Death 2012transport blood. This can lead to sudden cardiac death and in the US its the #1 leading cause of death for males over 40. At an alarming number of 326,200 deaths a year from sudden cardiac arrest equates to roughly the same number of deaths from breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, suicide, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, HIV, motor vehicle accidents, and more, combined!

For most people their first real symptom is there last!

Conclusion

Fortunately, we can all do our part in making sure this doesn’t happen to us. It’s known that the first symptom, if monitored, can be detected over 10 years before a heart attack occurs. Even in children is can start if the diet is bad enough (Standard American Diet) so getting your cholesterol checked earlier is better.

My final 3 tips:

  1. Eat a diet of 15% or less of your total daily calories from fat and free of animal products which are high in saturated fat.
  2. Exercise at least 150 minutes a week.
  3. Eat a diet predominately made of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope this was to your benefit.

Please comment below as I will be sure to respond to questions.

Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc

http://www.sca-aware.org/about-sca

http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/health/Kickstart-Biometrics-Screening.pdf

nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol/

nutritionfacts.org/video/optimal-cholesterol-level/

 

How High is Too High of Blood Pressure (& Why)

Lets get back to the science!

Yay!

We’re going to be covering the basics of health and one of the pillars is know about blood pressure.

This’ll be short, informing you what exactly is blood pressure and what to know about your own blood pressure number.

What is Blood Pressure?

There’s two numbers used to measure blood pressure, systolic & diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure is the pressure created when your hear beats twice. Diastolic pressure is the pressure when your hearts rests between beats. The pressure during the two beats, systolic pressure, is the higher number. what-causes-high-blood-pressure-and-how-to-lower-blood-pressure-with-medical-home-remedies-5-638

What are healthy & unhealthy blood pressure numbers?

Healthy: Systolic: 120 or less; Diastolic: 80 or less

Normal: Systolic 120 – 129; Diastolic: 80 – 85

Pre-Hypretensive: Systolic: 130 – 139; Diastolic: 85 – 89

Hypertensive Stage 1: Systolic: 140 – 159; Diastolic: 90 – 99

Hypertensive Stage 2: Systolic: 160 – 179; Diastolic: 100 – 109

Hypertensive Stage 3: Systolic: 180 or higher; Diastolic: 110 or higher

Upper-and-lower-blood-pressure

What do the numbers mean?

Well the two heart beats that you can feel by touching your carotid arteries (the main arteries in your neck) indicate you systolic blood pressure. The number is higher because that’s when your heart is working to push the blood through all the blood vessels in your body.

The lower number, diastolic blood pressure, represents the lower number. The number is lower because this is the pressure of blood in your vessels when the heart is resting between beats.

What People don’t know about having High Blood Pressure.

Most people believe that having high blood pressure is bad because it does damages the blood vessels and and heart.

But, actually having high blood pressure is an indicator that your body is losing control at keeping you blood vessels healthy. It’s an indicator your blood vessel walls (arteries) are getting clogged and atherosclerosis (hear disease) is increasing. All these ladder of undesirable health problems are a result of eating too much fat and cholesterol.

Conclusion

Thank you for taking the time to read about what’s important to your health.

If  you have any comments please leave them below.

Once again, please subscribe and share if you like what your reading.

Carson McQuarrie

http://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/featured-articles/articles/everybody-will-be-taking-blood-pressure-pills-soon/

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/blood-pressure/art-20050982

http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/diastolic-and-systolic-blood-pressure-know-your-numbers