Heart healthy gets sensible?

Scared your Heart will give out? New guidelines for healthy hearts are available. They say stop being obsessed.

Used to be there were rules, numbers to reach for on fats and cholesterol, but times they are a changin’ and itchy cardiologists have decided they need to have a new hymnal.

The new hymnal says don’t be so obsessed about numbers, it’s not so simple as numbers, it’s about your whole health picture.

It’s like everything in health and prevention of illness and death–really soft science with small associations from big statistically significant studies, starts off with hard recommendations that are etched in stone–to save lives. The harsh rules are combined with public interest announcements adn medical advice and guidelines for treating physicians, punctuated with concerned people advocating a high level of concern about the new rules on TV and Radio, even the internet.

Then a few years or decades later, common sense comes to the party, and the fanatics say–well maybe it is time for us to loosen up the rules. Maybe we exaggerated a little or even tried to get peoples attention by creating anxiety or worse–compulsions.

Cardiac Risk factors? I know some, but except for inherited ones, the risks are not measured in big numbers, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there in the cardiac risk factor business. That’s why this or that blood test or number may be hyped, but now the cardiologists have decided to retreat to more reasonable, less anxious pronouncements and the usual opponent appear saying it’s no time to stop worrying, and eating right, and taking the right this or that for lipids and cholesterol.


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7 responses to “Heart healthy gets sensible?

  1. I read the article and wasn’t sure what it meant. It seems to increase the number of potential statin customers (no CVD and LDL 70-189). I think I’ve read articles that statins really don’t do that much for the general population of statin patients. Is there really good evidence that they are really doing that much good?

    • Howdy Bob
      John Stossel did a good article related to this. Statin therapy helps some people in the high-risk group but only some and in fact rather a small number. But at the moment it’s very hard to predict which of the statin candidates will get protection from heart disease and which weren’t going to progress their heart disease anyway.
      On a potentially reasonable precautionary principle, then, there’s something to be said for treating those who seem to fit the profile. The cost and risks are low, although they are not negligible, and the benefit for the minority who do benefit is very large.
      The difficulty is in identifying the most appropriate candidates and Big Pharma is a source to view with care on that topic. Big Pharma (or Small Pharma for that matter) have products to sell and profits to make, as they should. The border between recommending a beneficial therapy and making a lot of money selling statins is fuzzy indeed.
      Closer to the thread itself: I’ve learned to be very skeptical of “emerging science.” I’ve seen the blowholes of many studies that then subsided and never did turn out to be the Great White Whale.

  2. I take Statins because they improve my test numbers and they are very cheap. My Dr. thinks that is a good thing. I dunno, but they’re cheap.

    • I am suppose to take statins but stopped. Your body needs cholesterol, especially the brain which is almost entirely cholesterol. Depriving it by making the cholesterol in your blood too low might be causing other problems.

      There is also no such thing as good and bad. LDL’s are used by the body to heal inflammation. HDL is used to carry away excess cholesterol. Problem is that when you have chronic inflammation, your body will plaster more and more LDL on it, in an attempt to heal, which causes the plaque buildup. The real answer is to find out what is causing your inflammation in the first place.

      Something else to note, – you know all the vegetarian diet info you get. Eat less meat, eat more pasta. Well it turns out the oil with the greatest lowering effect on cholesterol is in fact Stearic acid which is the primary ingredient in Lard. (You should try to find unhydrogenated lard in the refrigerator section if you want to try reducing your cholesterol this way) The oil in vegetable oils such as corn oil is horrible for us (where do you get oil from corn?) as far as cholesterol is concerned.

      So basically they have been lying to us and the entire NIH has been taken over by vegetarian advocates who are pushing a diet which is not good for us.

  3. My wife has been complaining about the disappearance of lard for a long time.

    It makes for much better pie crusts and bakery, like croissants and butter horns but it greases pans better and just makes the texture better. Crisco veg based shortening is a pathetic substitute and lard is not sold even in Texas where Mexicans are not able to make good tortillas without it and have to go to the mother country to stock up.

    I am serious as a heart attack, (little joke there) it’s like a black market item.

    As much as modern retailing is culturally oriented, yada yada, you can’t buy lard in an Grocery Store in our part of Texas.

  4. Actually, you can buy non-hydrogenated lard from several sources on the internet. Type in hydrogenated lard and you’ll get some “health” food and “natural” food places selling it. It is expensive, of course.
    The lard sold in supermarkets is fully hydrogenated, so it has no trans fats. I suppose if you would rather have your lard rendered instead of hydrogenated, it’s worth the huge price difference. (Note: Cooking changes the molecular structure of food, so may be the raw foods people are on to something?)

    Lard (even the hydrogenated type) does make better baked goods. We also used to put it in our dog’s food–the outdoor dog. It made his coat look great and he’d stand out in -20F weather waiting for someone to come out and play. (I don’t think that works for people! :) )

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