The Guardian enters “The Butter Battle 2.0”. More heat than light.
Here are the 10 things everyone need to know to navigate this minefield.
- LDL-Cholesterol (LDL-C) levels (from dietary fat) correlate (but poorly)
with CV mortality.
- Triglyceride levels (from dietary sugar) correlate (much better) with CV mortality.
- LDL particle number (LDL-P) is the right measure for CVD, and higher is worse. But a standard lipid profile measures LDL-C, not LDL-P. Wrong test.
- Dietary fat raises LDL-C, but not necessarily LDL-P, while sugar raises triglyceride levels.
- Red meat is associated with increased CVD. But maybe not because of its saturated fat. In fact, dairy saturated fat is protective against CVD.
- If you have a super high LDL-C (over 200), then you probably also have a high LDL-P, and you might need a statin.
- If your LDL-C is between 70 and 200, maybe your LDL-P is high, but maybe it is not. Statins are not prescribed based on LDL-P; they are prescribed based on LDL-C. This is a bad idea, yet doctors do it all the time.
- 4/5 of the people taking statins were prescribed for high LDL-C. But this is the wrong reason. And 20% of statin takers get side-effects.
- That doesn’t mean you should stop your statin. But it also doesn’t mean you can eat butter without abandon.
- A doctor who knows what they are doing can figure your situation out. But most don’t know what they are doing; they do as they’re told.