November 17


The Reason Why Cholesterol May Not Be The Main Cause of Heart Disease

By Gabriela

November 17, 2020

Around 80% of the cholesterol in the body is made by the liver. The rest of it comes from our diet. So, if we consume less food, the body will try to compensate by producing more. Therefore, the LDL and HDL cholesterol alone, are pointless predictors of heart disease.

However, increased LDL cholesterol may be a sign of insulin resistance. According to research, both LDL and HDL cholesterol are insignificant when determining cardiovascular health.

The best predictor for determining the risk of developing heart disease is insulin sensitivity. Here is why.

What is the Main Cause of Heart Disease?

An expert on cholesterol, Dr. Thomas Dayspring, says that most heart attacks occur because of insulin resistance.

He also stated that LDL cholesterol is almost a worthless predictor for heart issues.

In fact, there is a connection between insulin sensitivity and the metabolic functions of adipose fat. Here is why and how:

  • A person with a healthy and normal metabolic weight who has a good insulin sensitivity has a very low risk of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • A normal weight yet metabolically obese person who is insulin resistant has a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • An individual who is metabolically obese and unhealthy and is also insulin resistant also has a high chance of developing cardiovascular disease;
  • A person who is metabolically obese, yet healthy, and has good insulin sensitivity, has a low chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

Healthy and Unhealthy Body Fat

There is unhealthy and healthy body fat. In other words, the fat that protects the health and fat that causes disease. The crucial difference is in the absence or presence of insulin sensitivity.

The higher the insulin resistance, the worse the HDL ratio will be.

Also, markers such as fasting insulin can increase which in the end can result in an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

According to research, 2 specific metrics can predict the obese phenotype. In other words, it can predict whether we are obese and insulin-resistant or insulin sensitive.

The 2 specific metrics are:

  • Macrophages,
  • Circulating adiponectin.

How Can Insulin Resistance Cause Cardiovascular Disease?

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells fail to respond to the hormone insulin properly.

As a result, the body starts to produce more insulin when the glucose is released into the bloodstream from digesting carbohydrates.

In other words, those with insulin resistance produce an excessive amount of insulin compared to a healthy individual.

This can cause high blood sugar, inflammation, and can even cause the visceral fat to release systematic signaling molecules and inflammatory cytokines. In time, the visceral fat becomes resistant like the rest of the body.

All these events occur due to the high LDL, levels, low HDL, triglycerides, and oxidized LDL.

Even though very high LDL is a marker for increased risk of heart disease, and increased particle count of LDL may be a very good marker for insulin resistance.

Overall, all these factors might be the cause of developing heart issues. Moreover, other factors that may influence CVD risk are environmental pollutants, smoking, heavy metals, and other toxic elements.

How to Prevent Heart Disease

According to research, overall high cholesterol, including high LDL cholesterol is important when trying to determine the risk of developing any heart-related diseases. But, the best predictor might be insulin sensitivity.

Since insulin resistance drives chronic diseases, not just heart problems, it is best to measure our fasting insulin on a daily basis.

Depending on the results, we should take immediate action if we have any problems with our insulin resistance.

We can determine our fasting insulin level by simply taking a blood test. A normal level is below 5, while an ideal one is below 3.

How to Prevent Insulin Resistance

Here is a guide that can help us prevent insulin resistance.

1. Eat Fewer Carbs

Try to decrease the net carbs dramatically and completely eliminate the processed fructose. Since both of them can cause metabolic dysfunction, it is best to replace them with plenty of healthy fats.

However, try not to consume an excessive amount of protein.

Therefore, we highly recommend consulting with a nutritionist to create the best nutritional plan that will be optimized for a person’s specific health.

2. Balance the Omega-3 and Omega-6 Ratio

Some people get too little omega-3, while others lack omega-6 fatty acids. Therefore, we suggest eating more sardines, Alaskan salmon, fish oil, anchovies, krill oil, and fish oil, especially if someone lacks omega-3.

While processed vegetable oils, processed foods, and fried foods contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. Therefore, those who have extremely high levels of omega-6 is best to avoid them.

3. Get an Adequate Amount of Vitamins

It is crucial that we optimize vitamin D levels in the body. Other nutrients we may also need are vitamins K2, C, and magnesium. They all play a crucial role in the overall health of our bodies.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial if we want to stabilize our hormonal system. According to research, sleep deprivation may cause insulin sensitivity.

5. Stay Active

Try to get regular exercise to keep the insulin sensitivity in check.

Want more details? Watch this video below!


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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