You are at risk of a heart disease if you have 3 out of the following 5 indications of metabolic syndrome:
A fasting insulin level above 3
A triglyceride to HDL ratio above 2
A waist circumference indicating overweight or obesity
High blood pressure
Another major risk factor for heart disease that receives virtually no attention is high iron levels. In menstruating women, this is not an issue since they lose blood on a monthly basis. This is actually part of why premenopausal women have a decreased risk of heart disease.
In men, iron levels can rise to dangerously high levels. In my experience, the majority of adult males and postmenopausal women have elevated levels that put their health at risk. Checking your iron levels is easy and can be done with a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test. If your levels are high, all you have to do is donate blood a few times a year.
The Connection Between Saturated Fats and Diabetes
Malhotra cites a 2014 Lancet study looking at the association between dietary saturated fat, plasma saturated fat and type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, while dietary saturated fats found in dairy products were strongly inversely associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (meaning it was protective), endogenously-synthesized plasma-saturated fat was strongly associated with an increased risk.
Endogenously-synthesized plasma-saturated fats are fatty acids produced by your liver in response to net carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.These findings suggest eating full-fat dairy products may protect you against type 2 diabetes,whereas consuming too many net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) will increase your risk of type 2 diabetes –in part by raising the saturated fat levels in your bloodstream.
Healthy Fat Tips
Here are a few tips to help ensure you’re eating the right fats for your health:
- Use organic butter made from raw grass-fed milk instead of margarines and vegetable oil spreads.
- Use coconut oil for cooking. It is primarily a saturated fat and more resistant to heat damage than other cooking oils. It will also help improve your ability to burn fat and serve as a great source of energy to help you make the transition to burning fat for fuel.
- Sardines and anchovies are an excellent source of beneficial omega-3 fats and are also very low in toxins that are present in most other fish.
- To round out your healthy fat intake, be sure to eat raw fats, such as those from avocados, raw dairy products, and olive oil, and also take a high-quality source of animal-based omega-3 fat, such as krill oil.
Why Statins Are a Bad Idea for Most People
In addition to the recommendation to follow a low-fat diet, many doctors are still avid prescribers of statins, which help lower your cholesterol.
“This is a drug that was marketed over the last three decades as being a wonder drug. We’re only now realizing that the benefits of statins have been grossly exaggerated and the side effects underplayed. One of the reasons for that is that most if not all of the studies that drove the guidelines were industry-sponsored studies.
One of the things we have neglected in medicine is this issue around absolute risk and relative risk. The reality is if you look at the published data … if you have heart disease and you’ve had a heart attack, then taking a statin every day for five years, there’s a 1 in 83 chance that [statin] will save your life.
That means in 82 of 83 cases, it’s not going to save your life.
People with low risk should know that if they haven’t had a heart attack, according to the published literature, they’re going to live one day longer from taking statins.”
Statins Are Associated With Serious Side Effects
Then there’s the issue of side effects. According to Malhotra, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 patients suffer unacceptable side effects (that interfere with or diminish the quality of your life). Muscle pain is the most significant side effect reported followed by fatigue (mostly in women) because statins are essentially a metabolic blocker and mitochondrial poison.
They inhibit an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This is how they lower cholesterol. But that same enzyme is also responsible for a number of other things like making coenzyme Q10, which is why muscle pain and fatigue are so common. This is in fact a sign that your CoQ10 is being depleted, and you don’t have enough cellular energy.
Statins also block the formation of ketones, which are an essential part of mitochondrial nutrition and overall health. If you can’t make ketones, you impair the metabolism in your entire body, including your heart, thereby raising your risk for heart problems and a variety of other diseases. It’s also recently been established that within a few years of taking statins, the drug causes type 2 diabetes in one out of 100 patients.
That too can be a significant tradeoff that needs to be taken into account, as diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease and other chronic diseases. Dr. Michel De Lorgeril, a well-respected French cardiologist at Grenoble University recently reopened the debate about statins after publishing a review in which he questions whether statins actually have any benefit at all.
“He pointed out several discrepancies in the original trials … statistical manipulation, conflict of interest … ” Malhotra says. ”He’s actually suggested that maybe nobody benefits from statins; even people on statins for prevention.
He says that unless we get access to the raw data, independent analysis, the actual claims about the benefits of statins are not evidence-based.”
In case you missed it, please read
Saturated Fat Part One: Great Britain’s Most Outspoken Cardiologist Sets the Record Straight
Is saturated fat dangerous to your health?
Hospitals and Medical Personnel Are Far From Paragons of Health
For Past 60 Years, the Wrong Fats Have Been Vilified
What Are the Real Risk Factors for Heart Disease?
Part One and Two have been condensed from Dr. Mercola’s post: Great Britain’s Most Outspoken Cardiologist Sets the Record Straight on Saturated Fats
Please see the original for the Footnotes and Citations for the scientific studies.
May you Live Long Healthy.
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