I’ve got high total cholesterol – it’s 8.2mmol/L (or 317mg/dL). I’m not worried about it, nor is my doctor, and that’s because i have low triglycerides and very high HDL which make my ratios look totally gorgeous.
Most doctors would write me a prescription for a statin which would absolutely bring my total cholesterol down – but it would not reduce my risk of cardiovascular disease because high total cholesterol is not a risk factor. I just wish that myth would die already! I’m totally grateful that my doctor understands what the real risk factors for cardiovscular disease are and doesn’t hand out statins without good cause!
HOWEVER, i do have heart disease in my family, I am a former heavy smoker and former heavy drinker, and until a couple of years ago i’ve eaten a diet very high in carbohydrates – and all of these put me at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
So I had an arterial calcium scan done – a CAC if you want to know what to ask your doctor for – to see if I have any plaque buildup in my arteries and assess my risk of a cardiac event?
My score was zero. ZERO.
This puts me at the lowest risk possible for a cardiovascular event (less than 1% over the next 10 years).
Even though my diet for more than two years has been extraordinarily high in saturated fats, adequate in protein, and extraordinarily low in carbohydrate has not damaged my cardiovascular system.
And my high cholesterol (which by the way has been high for many many years) hasn’t caused any cardiovascular damage either.
It also looks like I’m experiencing perfect heart health without all those “heart healthy” grains, fruits, and vegetables.
If you are concerned about the health of your heart, ask your doctor for an arterial calcium scan so that he or she can get their eyes on the actual disease rather than looking at dubious peripheral blood markers like cholesterol. I’m grateful for having a doctor who didn’t just slap me with a prescription for statins due to my cholesterol!