Is promoting LCHF to FH suffers "criminal"?

This happened back in the summer and there was quite a bit of press coverage including things like this: "Cardiologist Anthony Dalby labelled Noakes’ advice for heart patients to switch from their cholesterol-lowering medication to his [LCHF] diet as criminal." has University of Cape Town sports scientist Prof Tim Noakes almost avoiding the question by saying something else (widespread prescription of statins) is worse. Sadly, the interviewer doesn't pick him up on it.

I was looking into this again because I'm on another round of medication tweaks and analysis. If I can control cholesterol by diet, I'd love to, but I've tried UCLP and low-carb before for relatively short times with insufficient effect, whereas the main consequence of a recent medic-advised monounsaturated fat increase seems to have been increased LDL levels (not HDL as I'd hoped), so I'm not really sure where to go next. Maybe I'll try one of the 1980s oat-obsessed plans next, or try vitC and niacin supplements.

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20 Replies

  • This 2013 research paper from The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes the effect of a ketogenic diet, looking at the beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, and the potential reversal of other health problems like diabetes. The ketogenic diet is a very extreme version of the Low carb/High fat diet. The paper discusses what is known and what needs more research.

    I hope it might be of some help, but the whole subject seems to be a mine field of opposing views. The Noakes diet is not as extreme as the ketogenic diet described above. My husband has had heart problems, not FH (now has a pacemaker) but has kept his cholesterol below 5, and reduced his blood pressure by eating low carb but not low fat. We have just kept butter and olive oil in our diets, not sure if that qualifies as 'high fat'.

    Hopefully there will be others on here with personal experience.

    Good luck with finding something that works for you.

  • I think you still have to take a little care with dietary cholesterol if you have FH, don't you? You can eat a reasonable amount, as much as you ever would except if gorging on one food.

  • Your best option is a healthy balanced diet. Some items to include are porage, Shredded Wheat, whole grain bread (a little), lots of greens, kiwi fruit and other natural fruits (not too many grapes), honey, low fat greek style yoghurt, fish, an occasional steak (fillet or sirloin) or other red meat and cut off the fat after cooking, nuts. You can have some cheese and a little butter. Keep up your fluid intake too. You could try plant sterols from (No, I don't work for them!), even go on their website and read some of their articles. Exercise is important (sometimes vigorous but not excessive).

    Quit smoking. Avoid cakes, buns, biscuits, sugar, sugary drinks and sweets like the plague! Very little jam or marmalade.

    Learn about alternative ways of baking your own "sweet stuff" e.g. grinding down linseeds to make flour or using ground almonds instead of ordinary flour.

    Monitor your weight and waist measurement, visceral fat, BMI, BP and heart rate regularly.

    Finally - KEEP AT IT! DON'T GIVE UP!

  • The trouble is, I do all of that (or have never done, in the case of smoking) except the flour-replacement (seems worth trying) and it's not been enough to get below 8 mmol/L. BMI/weight/waist are low, BP and heart rate within normal bounds. So I'm looking for anything to add to the mix, to see if I can avoid/lower pills next time. After reading around more, as well as vit C and B3, taking Krill Oil, Green Tea and Cayenne Pepper also look worth a shot - at worst, it seems like they wouldn't hurt anything except my bank balance!

  • Other alternative flours like buckwheat and chestnut flour may help with lowering cholesterol. Taste good too.

  • Plenty of chestnut in the shops at the moment in UK. Are chestnut good?

  • Yes, they are a good source of fibre, MUFs and other vitamins.

  • Buckwheat Flour seems to be available in the big supermarket (Doves Farm make) but is Chestnut Flour only in specialist Italian food shops?

  • I tend to buy mine from an internet supplier. Perhaps check Amazon?

  • My GP told me to take high EPA fish oils as there is apparently a lot of evidence that these help heart disease/cholesterol levels.

  • Please ask your GP to offer support this theory.

  • I've spotted some similar chat on heartattackandthenhs.wordpr... that's put it into my "worth a shot" box for this month.

  • Is Anthony Dalby part of big industry? makes it look like he's advised various firms in the past but seems to have no current interest beyond medical practice. Meanwhile Tim Noakes (linked from same page) has an obvious interest in getting people to buy and read his books.

    Yes, I've watched and read a bit about Noakes (who I must give credit for being rather less pushy than most diet enthusiasts) and and they say disappointingly little about FH. The most common search result for FH on is people who can't type LCHF correctly!

  • From what I've read of the Noakes diet etc, they are very effective if you are insulin resistant, which is becoming more common with the Western highly processed carb diet. It doesn't sound as though this applies to you.

    Hope you can find something that works.

  • Do you know your LDP particle number or your APOb number, these are probably far more important than a simplistic LDL cholesterol count. If you do not know them then why ?.

  • I don't, because I don't think we can find out on the NHS yet, can we? Do you mean LDL particle number? Is that test available from anyone in the UK yet? And is APOb still only available in expensive private tests? I'm asking for my next test (January) to include C Reactive Protein, which I'm told is available on the NHS and indicates level of inflammation.

  • Yes it is available now in the UK but sadly you will have to pay for it even if you are getting the number via APOB rather than direct testing of particle number from NMR testing. The company I use is Blue Horizon (I have no connection with them and this is not a sales pitch). The important thing is that your LDL doctors count can be high and yet your particle number can be low and vice versa so getting this test sounds pretty important otherwise you could be treating the wrong problem or worse sitting back and thinking my numbers look good when you are only checking the superficial numbers from your GP.

  • If you research Tim Noakes research you will quickly realize a lot of what he says makes a lot of sense.It seems that we have been brainwashed over the last 50 years into how we look after our health.If the dietary advice was so good why is it that we live within a society that is reliant on medication to keep us living into our latter years.We were designed as hunter gatherers to eat off the land and hunt for and eat meat. That includes eating saturated fat.

  • Hi, what is your plan or programme?

    I believe that the so called food plate needs changing, given this I have done my research and eating what I what, regular exercise and leading a healthy life style. Only time will tell!

    Cholesterol numbers by NHS, qrisk calculation by NHS? I am not sure if all these can help me.

    Do I need to go to a private screening place to do my cholesterol check?

    Will my GP be able to understand the results and offer me medication. There is blue horizon and other screening that a available and offer special package at reduced costs, get emails and letters!

    One thing is very clear, humans needs to change their eating habit to live a healthy life. Who is going to work on this. UK Government is happy to spend the money on unwanted projects!

    Why is it taking too long for the food plate to be changed?

  • I may be reliant on medication because my ancestors DIDN'T live into later years. Durr...

    That means qrisk is invalid for me, I think.

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