by Dr John Briffa
for The Cholesterol Truth


Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in the form of what are known as ‘lipoproteins’. Basically, these are tiny packages of cholesterol and fat, encased in a mix of fats (known as phospholipids) and protein. Lipoproteins come in two different forms: ‘low-density’ and ‘high density’. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) has links with a reduced risk of heart disease, while low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is linked with heightened heart disease risk. This is basically why HDL and LDL are often referred to as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol respectively.

While LDL-cholesterol has been painted as a villain where heart disease is concerned, increasing evidence shows that not all LDL-cholesterol is bad. LDL-cholesterol varies in size, ranging from small, dense particles up to much larger, less-dense (‘fluffy’) particles. It has been known for a long time that the size and density of LDL particles has an important bearing on apparent risk of heart disease. What the evidence shows is this: small, dense LDL particles are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, while large, ‘fluffy’ LDL particles are not [1]. This evidence suggests that the low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet so commonly advocated for heart disease prevention can lead to changes in LDL size (making LDL smaller and denser) – a change that is actually associated with enhanced risk of heart disease. It’s another reason to be mistrustful of conventional dietary advice regarding the prevention of heart disease.

Here’s to a healthy heart

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See Also:

‘Bad’ Cholesterol Not as Bad as People Think, Study Shows



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