How to Optimize Your LDL Cholesterol
ByMackenzie Prentice, DNP, APNP •August 29, 2022
In the post it was noted that it is not only important to understand the number of LDL cholesterol particles, but also the SIZE of the particles. If you have been told you have high cholesterol and have not yet had the NMR lipid profile test done, this is step one.
Step Two: Understanding the Results
Pattern A: Think beach ball that can bounce off the arterial wall, not causing damage.
Pattern B: Think golf ball, causing damage to the arterial wall.
Unfortunately, the conventional medical model at addressing high cholesterol is lacking. Most often the solution is to prescribe medication called a statin. While statin medications will decrease the amount of cholesterol in your blood, they won’t address the size. In fact, statins actually appear to increase the ratio of pattern B to pattern A LDL cholesterol.
So how do we manipulate particle size?
Fasting- Intermittent fasting will reduce insulin.We know that insulin increases LDL pattern B (small dense harmful “golf ball” particles). Reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates will also reduce insulin.
Fiber– Fiber helps bind cholesterol and helps you eliminate it. Fiber also slows the release of insulin. Examples include oat bran, psyllium husk, and plenty of low carb fruits and veggies.
Fat- Avoid highly processed, industrialized vegetable oils can also help. Avoid canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and partially hydrogenated fats (ie. trans fats). Eat plenty of healthy fats in the form of salmon, avocado, avocado oil, olives, olive oil, raw nuts, chia, hemp, and flax.
2. Exercise– Aim for at least 30 minutes cardio exercise 4 days/week.
3. Supplements if needed. Discuss this with your integrative medicine provider to determine what is best.
Understanding your risk for heart disease and manipulating the size of your LDL cholesterol particles is a great step in optimizing your health. Be well!
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.