Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Attia: Predicting Cardiac Risk

Doctors typically measure the following in a standard cholesterol test:
  • LDL-C – the concentration of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in your blood
  • HDL-C – the concentration of HDL (“good”) cholesterol in your blood
  • TG – the level of triglycerides (“bad”) in your blood
Combining HDL-C and TG into a ratio (i.e., TG/HDL-C) is probably the single best predictor of cardiac risk you can derive from a standard cholesterol test.  The lower the ratio, the lower your chances of having an “adverse cardiac event,” as the medical community describes it (e.g., a heart attack). Despite what doctors tell you, LDL-C is pretty much useless for predicting your risk of heart disease. In fact, it’s not even part of the risk assessment for metabolic syndrome, which everyone agrees is the central link to heart disease (and virtually all other chronic diseases we’re afflicted with).
This guy's site is just a goldmine for detailed but digestible information, I highly recommend it.  Unlike me, he's willing to include photos and drawings with his posts which can be very helpful.  Like me, he's a student of the "carbohydrate hypothesis" as advocated by Gary Taubes most recently/commonly.  
This weekend, I gave my fourth presentation of a three hour brief I call "That Stuff Will Kill You".  The brief describes why a neolithic diet is toxic, how the paleolithic model might be useful to understand the pathology of the neolithic diet, and how one might best attempt to implement a diet based on the Paleolithic model.  I'm always amazed when folks stay for the 3rd hour, but also very gratified when they do.  I'm also very grateful to the audiences since each time I present, I become aware of how I might change the material to improve the impact on the audience.  
One thing I'm well aware of and grateful for - a big part of the reason these sessions are well received is that they are attended by CrossFitters.  As a group, it's difficult to imagine folks that are more eager to learn.

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