Atkins Diet and Cholesterol: Facts and Myths


*** First my apologies that Pinnacle Studios screwed up the audio – video sync at the end >7:40. I tried redoing the video three times, but the same out of sync happened each time.***

In this video, I deal with another one of the myths that Atkins Diet increases one’s cholesterol level due to its saturated fats. This misconception has been proven false over and over in many different studies. At very least, here is my anecdotal evidence.

My Cholesterol (Starting to Now):
Total Cholesterol – 198 to 153
LDL Cholesterol – 148 to 95
HDL Cholesterol – 35 to 58
Triglycerides – 135 to 43

What’s Good and Bad?
From http://cholesterol.emedtv.com/hdl/hdl-ldl-ratio.html :
“It is the ratio between the level of HDL-“good” cholesterol and total cholesterol that we need to be concerned about. Therefore, in adults, the HDL-“good” cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol). Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the better (the lower your risk of a heart attack).”
Mine – .61

This popular medical belief ignores however that all LDL molecules are not necessarily created equal. “It appears common for people with high triglycerides to have low HDL’s, and these same people also tend to have high levels of clotting factors in their blood stream, which is unhealthy in protecting against heart disease.

Therefore, in adults, the triglyceride/HDL-“good” cholesterol ratio should be below 2 (just divide your triglycerides level by your HDL). Or more precisely, the triglyceride/HDL ratio:
2 or less is considered ideal
4 – high
6 – much too high”
Mine – .74

It is now believed that the triglycerides/HDL ratio is one of the most potent predictors of heart disease. A Harvard-lead study author reported:
“High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold. And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL — the “good” cholesterol — had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.

The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio. (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525).”

Other Studies, which prove to healthy nature of Atkins or Low Carb in respect to heart health:
* Weight Loss with a Low-Carbohydrate, Mediterranean, or Low-Fat Diet
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12106620
“The low-carbohydrate group consumed the smallest amount of carbohydrates and the largest amounts of fat, protein. … The mean weight loss was 2.9 kg for the low-fat group, and 4.7 kg for the low-carbohydrate group. … The relative reduction in the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was 20% in the low-carbohydrate group and 12% in the low-fat group”

* Effect of 6-month adherence to a very low carbohydrate diet program.
Am J Med. 2002 Jul;113(1):30-6.
“Serum total cholesterol level decreased 11 +/- 26 mg/dL, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level decreased 10 +/- 25 mg/dL, triglyceride level decreased 56 +/- 45 mg/dL, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level increased 10 +/- 8 mg/dL, and the cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio decreased 0.9 +/- 0.6 units.”

* Comparison of high-fat and high-protein diets with a high-carbohydrate diet in insulin-resistant obese women.
Diabetologia, 2005 (Vol. 48) (No. 1) 8-16
These observations suggest that the popular diets reduced insulin resistance to a greater extent than the standard dietary advice did. When compared with the HC diet, the HF and HP diets were shown to produce significantly greater reductions in several parameters, including weight loss, waist circumference and triglycerides. LDL cholesterol decreased in individuals on the HC and HP diets.Of those on the HF diet, 25% showed a more than 10% increase in LDL cholesterol, whereas this occurred in only 13% of subjects on the HC diet and 3% of those on the HP diet.

* Elevated high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and normal triglycerides as markers of longevity
http://www.springerlink.com/content/p518l0216t61r77j/

* Joint effects of serum triglyceride and LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol concentrations on coronary heart disease risk in the Helsinki Heart Study.
http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/85/1/37

No comments yet to Atkins Diet and Cholesterol: Facts and Myths

  • Hi,

    Great site. I have high cholestrol. I work hard at getting it down with exercise and a good diet. I have learned a lot from your site. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!

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