Are you ready to learn “how to reduce cholesterol”, the “bad” kind? In this weeks episode, Jimmy Moore, Host of the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Podcast and author of Cholesterol Clarity, Keto Clarity, and the Keto Cookbook discusses just that. Heart disease is the number one killer in our country causing 1 in 4 deaths. We have been told that lowering cholesterol lowers our risk of heart disease. Fat, is known as the culprit to raising cholesterol, thus we should avoid fatty foods. Jimmy will show us that this science is incorrect. Before looking at how to reduce cholesterol, Jimmy will show us the truth about what actually causes high cholesterol…the bad kind.
At age 32, Jimmy weighed over 410 pounds, had a 62 inch waist pants, suffered from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and breathing problems. He read a ton of diet books and was eating their recommended low fat diet. Yet, he wasn’t losing weight. In the year 2004, he was given Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. It revolutionized the way he looked at nutrition. He went from 16 cans of Coke and Swiss Miss Rolls down to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, putting his body into a state of ketosis. Over the next few years the 200 pounds of flew off, and his currently his health is off the charts.
How Jimmy Lost 200 Pounds!
Jimmy followed the Atkins’ Diet which begins with a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet that puts your body in a state of ketosis. This beginning state of the Atkins diet is also called the Ketogenic Diet. Through this way of eating, the chemistry of how your body uses nutrients to create energy changes. Instead of your brain using the sugars glucose as fuel, you brain feeds off of ketones created through the breakdown of fat. Glucose for energy is made by the body when it breaks down fats and proteins rather that through dietary glucose(sugars). On this diet Jimmy’s body became a fat burning machine!
Why the Ketogenic Diet worked for Jimmy?
- He found it was easier than any other diet he had ever tried. He always felt satiated and never hungry.
- He could eat delicious foods like pepperoni wrapped in cheese and dipped in mayonnaise. and still lost weight
- Once he added fat back into his diet, his sugar cravings disappeared. He believes if you have a sugar craving often it is actually a craving for saturated fat. If you eat some butter rolled in cheese, within 15 minutes, your sugar craving will go away.
How to Reduce Cholesterol…The “Bad Kind” on a High Fat Diet?
For years it has been ingrained in us that dietary fat raises cholesterol which will lead to heart attacks. Many doctors are still giving this advice, but Jimmy explains why this information is incorrect. Lets look first at why the most common cholesterol tests don’t tell the entire story.
There are two types of cholesterol:
- HDL, often labeled as the good kind
- LDL, known as the bad kind.
Doctors tests your LDL cholesterol with the LDL-C number. This is an estimated number of your total LDL cholesterol. This number doesn’t tell the whole story. It is calculated based on your triglycerides, HDL and other numbers on your lipid panel through the Friedwald Equation. If you have a triglyceride count below 100 and an HDL above 50 the equation doesn’t calculate your cholesterol correctly.
-Instead test a LDL particle test which breaks down your LDL’s into two types
Two Types of LDL’s.
- Pattern A, large, buoyant particles that are healthy and cannot penetrate the arterial wall. These LDL’s are actually needed to carry nutrients to the brain. Without the Pattern A LDL’s, your brain health declines
- Pattern B, which are small, dense LDL particles that penetrate the arterial wall which cause inflammation and increases your risk of heart disease.
How to reduce cholesterol (the Pattern B LDL’s!)
- Processed Foods
- Vegetable Oils. (Such as canola oil, and soybean oil)
The Problem with Statins
Statins may lower your total LDL cholesterol, but they mainly lower the large fluffy LDL, leaving the smaller, dense LDL. Statins also oxidize the small particles making you more atherogenic, causing more inflammation in the body and leaving you more susceptible to heart disease. Remember we shouldn’t be worried on “how to reduce cholesterol”, we should be how to reduce Pattern B LDL cholesterol and preventing it from becoming small and dense. So stop eating sugar and bad oils.
Carbs, Insulin, and Weight Gain
A lot of people hear the word insulin and blow it off because they are not diabetic. But blood sugar effects many people even if they are not yet diabetic. As you eat carbohydrates, your body turns it into sugar. Insulin is released to carry the sugar to the cells to use for energy. If you have too much sugar, insulin carries it to the liver and turns it into fat. It’s a storage hormone. Thus, the more carbs you eat and don’t use for energy, the more your store in your fat cells.
Why is my Doctor Still Telling me to Eat Low Fat?
Remember, many doctors only have a couple of weeks of nutrition classes through their entire training. Some have one class total!
What Jimmy Eats
-He eats according to hunger rather than at specific times.
-On a ketogenic diet, he can go for long periods of time without food
-Breakfast could be
- Bulletproof coffee (if you like it)
- Maybe your not hungry to 1-2 in the afternoon. Eggs bacon and avocado
-Dinner maybe meat and vegetables slow roasted or things like
- Green leafy vegetables
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Meats, poultry, fish
Jimmy doesn’t stay away from carbs all of the time.
“If you are human, you are never going to stay 100 percent perfect on the diet. On Thanksgiving he had a little pumpkin pie. The bigger picture is not perfection, but pursuing this as your lifestyle. If you have a bump along the way it is ok.”
Tips when transitioning to the ketogenic diet
- Cook your Food. We are used to living in an convenient society and we forgot how to cook. If you learn to cook you don’t need the convenient foods anymore. You find how to cook conveniently!
- Get your household in order
- Get rid of all the crappy carbs in your fridge
- Start eating healthy, real food? What is crazy about eating REAL FOOD? What IS crazy is stuffing your face with foods that you know are raising blood sugar, insulin, and inflammation. Yes your doctors are telling you to eat whole wheat bread in the morning, but that is scientifically wrong for health. That view is based on the calorie hypothesis and not on the science of hormones.
- EAT FAT: If you want to be a fat burning machine, you have to eat fat!!
- Keep it simple. Just use different spices to change the meal. There are a thousands of ways to make chicken, fish, and meat.
- Food is fuel. We have to stop looking at food for comfort.
The knowledge of how to reduce cholesterol may not get you very far in heart health if you are eating emotionally. Jimmy was abused as a child and he covered up that emotion with food. Eating emotionally became a habit, and like a drug or alcohol habit, you have to break it. If you look at the brain of a drug addict and the brain of a sugar addict the same part of the brain is being stimulated!
Before he started Atkins, he had already be dealing with his emotional problems over the last 4-5 years. Thus, by the time he received the Atkins Diet Book, he had an better emotional outlook on life and was ready for change. He had seen his older brother, at age 32, have a series of heart attacks (which eventually killed him at age 41). Jimmy woke up and realized he needed to take control of his life and not let his emotional eating kill him.
Jimmy’s Last piece of Actionable Advice
-Stop worrying about your weight. If you are looking at a scale to tell you how to feel about yourself, you are in for a long journey. Take a sledgehammer to your scale. Instead pursue your own health gain over weight loss.
As Rob says, “Health is not just food, it is lifestyle in the way that you live.”
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
If you would like to learn more about Jimmy and get links to all of his books, podcast, blogs check out:
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Thanks for listening/reading Episode 76, Jimmy Moore and How to Reduce Cholesterol, the “Bad” Kind. We hope you have gained more knowledge on how to be healthier!