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WFPB or LCHF - which is better for your health and halting the progression of atherosclerosis?

WFPB or LCHF - which is better for your health and halting the progression of atherosclerosis?

Four years ago I had a heart bypass. I researched and discovered Ornish and Esselstyn who recommend a whole food plant based WFPB diet to halt or reverse plaques on your arteries. I adopted this diet and have kept with it for the last 4 years, lost 15kg and feel good.

At the weekend I attended a conference and it was primarily about following a low carb high fat LCHF diet as being the recommended diet to be healthy and prevent diabetes and heart disease.

Both WFPB and LCHF eliminates sugars, refined carbs and processed foods but the big difference is meat.

The conventional wisdom promoted by NHS, BHF etc is to reduce saturated fats, but it seems that this is now being questioned by some in the medical community.

Has anybody on this forum any experience of changing their diet to LCHF and what impact does that have on your blood markers, in particular HDL and Triglycerides.

The proponents of the LCHF talk about Ketogenesis which seems to keep your body fats in balance and stop you gaining weight. They seem to thrive on it and don’t get hungry between meals and can often fast for long periods, for 12 hours or even more.

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Out of interest, which conference was this, and where?

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Gary Taubes in London - and a Q&A panel with Malcolm Kendrick, and a few others

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Thanks.

Did you attend both days? And who (for you) were the standout speakers?

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Yes, I attended both days but it was primarily Gary Taubes as the only speaker - who was very captivating in his thorough research and history of how we not to where we are today and dismissal of the standard low fat diet approach to health.

On the second day Assem Mahotra was on the panel too.

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Yes, Gary Taubes is great. He looks very healthly. Did he say that he eats meat, etc?

Hopefully, they recorded the conference and will soon post it online. 🤔

There's another conference coming in the next few weeks... but it's more expensive. ☹️

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There seems to be a big stand off between LCHF and WFPB with both claiming the health ground. The bottom line for me is simple, both can offer improved health markers but if you ask a LCHF proponent to name a reasonably controlled study that shows pretty conclusively long term that LCHF halts heart disease let alone reverses it, they will struggle. On the other hand WFPB will cite Ornish published in the Lancet in 1992, Esseltyn and his many patients and of course Nathan Pritikin and the Pritikin institute of health. Add on top of this tentative links between sat fat and diabetes plus the possibility that you may be APO 4 or at least APO 3/4 which would suggest that you dont handle sat fat as well as others and you start to see that although the LCHF may have benefits the evidence based choice is clearly WFPB. Add on top of this the fact that most populations who do not have heart disease seem to on the whole follow a WFPB diet with some occasional meat. When the news broke that Sat Fat may not be the main culprit in heart disease (and I agree I dont think it is) Ornish stated that even if this were true in order to reverse existing heart disease you nee to eliminate sat fat. At the time I thought it was perhaps a weak argument for sticking to his protocol but after more research it may be that he is right. Looking into this you are going to get pulled all over the place by the arguments. If you go on Dr Kendricks blog you will get attacked if you question meat, similarly if you go on Dr Gregers site you will be attacked if you question cholesterol or if you question sat fat as the main culprit in heart disease. My advice is stick to what has worked and been repeated by other people. By the way on the Kendrick site the main argument against Ornish and Esseltyn is that we only have their word for it. Pretty feeble excuse I would say.

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I would personally have your Hba1c level checked, as LCHF is meant to reduce this, [I am not sure what WFPB does for Hb1ac] Ivor cummings et al suggest that CVD is caused by glycation, I have seen on a LCHF diet by Hba1c is within normal range.

I assume that CVD has been on a decrease due to people stopping smoking and thus reducing oxidation. This can be seen from data produced by the Office of National Statistics.

In a study “Contributions of Increasing Obesity and Diabetes to Slowing Decline in Subclinical Coronary Artery Disease" Smith CY et al based on medical records from Olmsted County Minnesota it shows a change of death rate decrease which coincides with the increase of obesity and diabetes.

It should be noted that the gradient of the graph deaths due to CVD has not perceptively improved due to cholesterol lowering drugs. [based on data published by ONS - no of prescriptions of statins and deaths due to CVD and all cause morbidity]

A CAC score may also be useful as this could show you if the CVD is progressing on the a WFPB diet, particularly if you have a previous score to compare it with.

There are also some small studies that show that black garlic may reduce atherosclerosis.

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All of this fades into lesser significance, compared to the positive effects of exercise. I had a stent fitted 18 months ago, and through brisk walking 8km every day, I reduced lipids right down, as well as cholesterol etc. its amazing. A bit of fat here and there is no problem, but you are right make sure plenty of un-processed food and loads of veg / beans /pulses. I got a taste for nuts...and have enjoyed Almonds and peanuts, but my cholesterol went up from 0.8 to 3.1 in 3 months........ which scared me a little so i have cut back on them now. I rewarded myslef last week with a full english breakfast, the first one since the heart attack.... it was amazing!! but i went for a 10km walk after that cuz I felt bad / guilty. I gotta wait another year to enjoy that taste again.... its tough living with heart disease!!

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Was your doctor happy with 0.8 cholesterol, I take it, it is total cholesterol?

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Yer... total ratio.... very low... doctors in my gp surgery are useless and did not express any opinions!! I wanted tp reduce statins from 80mg to 40mg... with a view to stopping all together over time.... gp said fine... went to the consultant and he went mad... said evidence shows 80mg dose cleans out arteries and gives maximum benefit... all you can do is follow the evidence... its.really hard!!

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Six years ago I was given statin, tried it within for weeks total cholesterol came down to 2.8. I went for a stress test and echo cardio gram, asked the consultant one question "Do I need statin for any damage in my arteries?", the answer was no. I did experience side effect of body pain. I have not gone back to statin, life style change and regular exercise, I feel fine and living a healthy life,only time will tell.

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Interesting..........which consultant did you see & in what health authority?

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Wow Im impressed!! I can only walk between 10 and 100 paces slowly after 3 stents before angina. Last 'cardiologist' i saw a month ago said my heart is "normal". Even my gp laughed.

Im kind of beyond laughing!!!

Enjoy your life. So glad all going well!!

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I have read that Statins also block the VitK2 pathway in the body along with CoQ10. So whatever the diet if you have excess calcium left behind in the arteries then atherosclerosis could be a possibility. VitK2 ensures calcium is directed out of the arteries and soft tissues and into bones and teeth ! Some cases of heart issues are referred to as VitK2 Deficiency.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/256...

VitD improves the uptake of Calcium from foods - to taking VitK2 is advised along with Magnesium. VitD has an anti-inflammatory effect similar to some statins :-)

drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Ischaem...

Good Book : The Calcium Paradox

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I read yesterday that long term stating and antihistamine can give a lot of health problems! this is not the first time I read this information.

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Oh ... did you read the links ?

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