Post 19 of 365
This is part 11 of my review in Layman's terms of the book 'The Art and Science of Low carbohydrate Living' By Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD & Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD
Triglyceride as a Target
So if the relevant target and culprit for risk of heart disease is not LDL-C what is? Now lets bring in a new suspect - postprandial lipemia - this is tested in the blood and is a prolonged increase in plasma triglycerides after a meal, this is when triglycerides stay in your blood system far to long. Why is this of concern ? This will decrease HDL-C (good cholesterol), raise the very low LDL-C (very bad cholesterol) which in turn means elevated triglycerides, leading to progression of heart disease. So reducing triglycerides in the blood is the main aim here, how can we do this?
Carbohydrate is the Major Driver of Plasma Triglycerides
You have a fasting blood test done, and in the results you have elevated triglycerides! this is an early symptom that your body is having trouble metabolizing carbohydrates. If you take one thing away from this whole thing , remember this! so how does the body of a person with insulin resistance deal with carbohydrate?
1/ Converting carbs to glycogen is limited (the body only needs a small amount), so excess carbs will be turned to fat
2/ This fat becomes Triglycerides, packaged inside of vLDL and get put into your blood circulation.
3/ Alternately if they do not get released from the liver, they stay in the liver and contribute to fatty liver.
The Triglyceride Saturated Fat Connection
An insulin resistant liver easily converts carbohydrates to fat. Triglyceride rich VLDL are secreted from a liver that is highly stressed by an excessive carbohydrate diet not dietary intake of saturated fats. With studies looked at it is said that 'a low carb diet reduces both blood and tissue saturated fat levels irrespective of dietary saturated fat intake'.
Importance of Raising HDL-C
On a low carb diet HDL-C will rise, which is what we want, but it will be a slower process, triglycerides will reduce first and much faster, but as said before, reducing triglycerides will enhance HDL-C. Low levels of HDL-C indicate cardiovascular risk independent of LDL-C, hence the importance of raising the levels, that's why this is called the good cholesterol.