What happens to your cholesterol when you eat high-fat, keto? Jimmy Moore and I review my 9 month cholesterol numbers since going low-carb, high-fat, keto.
I’ve been following a high-fat, low-carb, keto eating style for 9 months (as outlined in my 30-day keto program) and my blood test results are in!
Today; with the help of Jimmy Moore, we’re reviewing my results and chatting about what eating high-fat, low-carb, keto does to your cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.
AND! We show you how to interpret the results of your blood tests, the cholesterol numbers you should watch for, foods that put you at risk, the connection between triglycerides and carb intake, and how to change your numbers for the better.
If you’re curious about cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, today’s video will give you the full picture so that you can make a healthful, informed decision about yourself, your health and your high-fat, keto life.
- What eating “high-fat” or “keto” did to my cholesterol (HDL, LDL and triglycerides)
- What cholesterol numbers to watch for
- The food your body needs to increase your HDL
- The connection between carb intake and triglycerides
- What eating high-fat, keto does to your cholesterol numbers
- Get Jimmy’s Book, Cholesterol Clarity
- My 30-day Meal Plan + High-Fat, Keto Guidebook, The Keto Beginning
Leanne: Jimmy, you’re here in the flesh.
Jimmy Moore: Hey, hey, hey.
Leanne: For those of you guys who don’t know Jimmy Moore, first of all you’ve probably been living under a rock because this guy’s huge. Excited to have you here on the show today. Jimmy busted on health scene in 2004 after a phenomenal 180 pound weight loss that enabled him to come off of his prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. He is the co-author of Cholesterol Clarity, Keto Clarity, and the energetic personality behind the blog Living La Vida Low Carb at www.livinlavidalowcarb.com, and the voice of the top ranked podcast The Livin’ La Vida Low Carb show. He’s interviewed over 900 of the world’s top health experts, I’m pretty sure I’ve listed to at least 400 of those.
Pretty obsessed with everything that you’ve put out there. You can see why I’m a bit nervous interviewing this guy, because he is the interviewing master.
Jimmy Moore: You’ve been on my Friday’s shows, so this is like old hat now. We’re buds now.
Leanne: Totally, awesome, perfect. Today we’ve really come together to talk about cholesterol. It is a huge topic. Yeah, Cholesterol Clarity right there. A lot of my readers who are adopting this high fat, keto eating style are getting really nervous about cholesterol and you know if I eat too many eggs is my cholesterol going to go up and so a lot of people that are watching this show today, I bet you about 80% of them have their blood work in front of them.
Jimmy Moore: Please do.
Leanne: Then like cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, what does all of this mean?
Jimmy Moore: What the HDL is wrong with my numbers, right?
Leanne: Exactly, exactly. That’s a perfect way to explain it. Can you run us through a little bit about cholesterol and what that is and when we’re looking at the blood work what does it mean?
Jimmy Moore: That’s a loaded question and we could probably go 3 hours just on that but I’ll give you the nut shell. Most medical professionals have been taught to look at 2 primary numbers on your cholesterol panel. Total cholesterol, and this number called LDLC, which is your LDL cholesterol that you’ve heard about. You’ve heard LDL is bad and you’ve heard if you’re total cholesterol level is over 200, oh my god you are at great risk for heart disease. Exactly.
Unfortunately that’s wrong. Unfortunately total cholesterol doesn’t tell the whole story. It includes one number that you want to have higher. That is you HDL good cholesterol. When you start eating low carb, high fat, keto, one of the tell tale signs that you’ve done it very well is your HDL, especially you ladies, you’re lucky Leanne … you ladies can make your HDL just go really high. I have to work hard as a guy to get mine in the 70-80 range, which is pretty good for a guy. Most people walking around their HDL is sub 40, and most of them probably sub 20 if they’re not eating enough fat. You have to eat saturated fat in order to raise that good HDL cholesterol. Okay?
They’re totally ignoring HDL. They’ll say, “Oh yeah, it looks good. But oh my god your LDL is bad or your total cholesterol is bad.” The other thing that they’re ignoring about your cholesterol panel which doesn’t necessarily show up in your numbers that they look at is the triglycerides. If you’ve got your numbers and you’re looking at them now, go grab them and let’s look at them. If you have a triglyceride number over 100, I know they say the range is 150 or below but over 100 means you’re eating way too many carbohydrates in your diet still. The tell tale sign that you’re eating low carb, high fat, keto very well is your triglycerides will be sub 100 and then sub 70 optimally.
Do you know what yours are right now Leanne?
Leanne: Yeah. My HDL from eating plant-based … before I started this, so I was eating a ton of plants … my HDL was 86. Now it’s 108. It’s increased since eating high fat. Everyone says, “How is it even possible because you’re not…” Then my triglycerides before were 37 and now they’re 59, so they were really low. In fact, my doctors were like, “Okay Leanne, you really actually need to increase your LDL and triglycerides.” When I was eating plant-based because even my LDL was like 48, it was too low.
Jimmy Moore: We’ll talk about that here in a second. The main point is triglycerides and HDL really are the two ones on your panel you really should be paying attention. A lot of the research is pointing to what’s called the triglyceride to HDL ratio. You take your triglycerides and you divide it by your HDL and if that number is under 1.0, hello, you are rocking it with lowering your cardiovascular risks no matter what your LDL and total cholesterol is. That’s a new way to look at things, and people don’t understand that there’s … what we’re doing looking at total cholesterol and LDL as a measure for heart disease risk is actually 50 years old.
There have been so many advancements in the cholesterol panels and we haven’t even talked about particle size, which we can get into in a minute. Some of the variations that have happened we’re now … we’ve progressed to if your triglycerides are under 70, you’re pretty much guaranteed that that’s the best possible heart health risk marker that you could even look at. Make it your goal to drop the triglycerides to under 70, and you do that with a low carb, high fat, keto diet.
Jimmy Moore: Really!
Leanne: It’s interesting, on my blood work at least, in Canada they do the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL. But you’re saying it’s triglycerides?
Jimmy Moore: That’s 20 years old. That one was out there. It was the next progression after, “okay LDL and total is not as big a deal.” It’s total to HDL. Yeah, they keep trying.
Jimmy Moore: So close, so far that I think they really need to latch onto what the triglycerides and what the HDL really mean. When you’re eating too many carbs, it’s going to show up in the tricks. It totally will. When you’re not eating enough fat in your diet, especially saturated fat, this is such a key point. I know you hammer this in your videos, that’s why I love them. The saturated fat is so important to raising the HDL, and it’s that HDL that you want to have higher and yet it also shows up in your total cholesterol and then makes the doctors goes bat crap crazy when they see 220 on your total cholesterol, and the only thing that went up was HDL. Come on.
Leanne: Yeah, I totally … my cholesterol from before was 142, and it went up to around 240.
Jimmy Moore: Yup.
Leanne: I went to my naturopath, and she’s like this is awesome, this is exactly what we want to see. My issue was hormones, so I want cholesterol so that my body can build hormones, because without that cholesterol good luck. When I went to my regular GP, he was like “Statins, put you on statins. Oh my gosh it’s way too high.” What do you say to people, you’re saying 200 is always thrown out there with cholesterol. What you’re saying is that cholesterol is not really all that important in the grand scheme of things if you’re looking at your number. It’s more important to look at triglycerides in that ratio?
Jimmy Moore: Man, that’s a loaded question too. You are a good interviewer whether you know it or not.
Leanne: Oh. Thank you.
Jimmy Moore: That’s a loaded question. I’ll try to make it a little more pointed. Cholesterol and I’m really happy to hear that you went from what you say around 140 or so, to about 230 or 40. That’s actually a very good thing, and one of the key elements in the body, one of the key roles of cholesterol in the body, is for hormone regulation. A lot of good things about having more cholesterol and when you have less cholesterol in the body you actually take away some of those key things that could be happening and that’s why some people when they tend to have lower cholesterol levels … I used to take Lipitor back before my low carb, keto days, and I got my total cholesterol to around 130?
Jimmy Moore: Taking a drug. Oh, well the doctors heralded that, “Oh my gosh, you are so heart healthy.”
Leanne: Gold star!
Jimmy Moore: I know right? What they didn’t realize was they were putting me at a greater risk for heart disease and they were putting me at a greater risk for having depression and all these kind of mental health issues. Your brain literally needs that cholesterol to run. If you’re not giving it the cholesterol in your diet, and you’re not allowing the natural progression of cholesterol to take place in the body, you’re actually causing harm to your body. This is the analogy I used in Cholesterol Clarity about the role that cholesterol plays in the body, so you say “What is the real problem that we should be paying attention to if it’s not cholesterol?” It’s the inflammation, stupid. Inflammation is really what we need to be paying attention to.
There’s a really great inflammatory marker that you can have any doctor can run this for about fifty bucks, and insurance should cover it. It’s called HSCRP, high-sensitivity C reactive protein, and that is the key marker. There’s some other inflammatory markers in the body but that one will really tell the tale of whether you have high levels of inflammation or not. Ideally you want that one optimally under 1.0, most certainly under 3.0. My recent one just a few months back, Leanne, was 0.44.
Leanne: Yeah. Awesome.
Jimmy Moore: The thing here is I also always had high cholesterol. Cholesterol goes to … think of cholesterol like a fire fighter and inflammation is the fire. If a fire fighter goes to the scene of a fire, blows the water onto … you burning the house and it puts it out. Let’s say the neighbors house is on fire, and there’s no fire fighter that comes, what happens? Destruction, right?
Leanne: Destruction, yeah.
Jimmy Moore: That’s exactly what’s happening inside your body when you have less cholesterol and you have higher levels of inflammation in your body. You’re putting your body at risk because those fire fighters aren’t there. The cholesterol to put out the fire of inflammation and so we really have to know where we stand with inflammation and without the inflammation, there really is no heart disease. People are, “Oh you have 289 total cholesterol, you’re at great risk for heart disease.”
Okay, that’s a marker but it’s not the marker.
Leanne: It’s not the big picture; it’s just one little corner.
Jimmy Moore: Let’s look at all of those things. Let’s look at the triglycerides, let’s look at the HDL, let’s look at the HSCRP, let’s see how your blood sugar is doing, your fasting insulin levels are doing. All of it matters and I think anybody that tries to do treatment of their high cholesterol, which is not a disease by the way, they might even call it hypercholesterolemia, to make it sound like it’s just this dastardly thing. It’s just a medical term that says you have high cholesterol.
I want to tell a quick story …
Leanne: Do it.
Jimmy Moore: One year ago my, I guess this about a year and a half ago now, time flies when you’re having fun … my total cholesterol was over 400. A lot of people, and of course I talked to lipidologists and heart people all the time on my podcasts, and I was throwing the numbers out there and one of the lipidologists “Oh you need the highest dose of Staten drug possible because you’ll not be able to get that down without it.” In writing Cholesterol Clarity, I determined that I had some other things that were raising the cholesterol and it’s not that I have a Staten drug deficiency. It’s that I have something underlined inside of me somewhere that the cholesterol was going to try to take care of.
What it turned out was I had 4 root canals in my mouth from my early twenties, where I use to chew hard candy and leave it in there when I was a kid. I know I was stupid.
Leanne: I did the same thing where it gets all stuck in your tooth, I loved it.
Jimmy Moore: My mamma would kill me if she know I did that. I had four root canals and then I also had some mercury amalgams that were put in way back, twenty years ago when I was in my early twenties. Anyway, I determined I bet that’s a big reason why my cholesterol has always been high since I’ve been adult. I got that taken care of the year that I wrote Cholesterol Clarity in 2013, and I got it tested my total cholesterol was over 400. Got it tested again in October, total cholesterol had dropped over 100 points.
Leanne: Just by reducing that space of inflammation.
Jimmy Moore: Just removing the infections that were in the mouth and the mercury amalgam poisoning that was probably happening. Was raising my cholesterol because it was trying to be that fire fighter to put out the fire. Of course it never showed up in my inflammation because the cholesterol was taking care of it, had I been taking a Staten drug Leanne, I would have been at great risk. I would have been in really bad shape. Anyway, I thought okay that was maybe an anomaly, that was in October. Let me have it run again, I had it run again last month … 289 again. Not a fluke, and that’s one of the things we did in Cholesterol Clarity, was you said, “why aren’t doctors asking why the cholesterol is high?” All they know is that it’s high. Therefore you have a Staten deficiency and please take this drug.
I think if enough of them say, “Have you had trouble with your teeth, maybe you should go see a dentist and see if any infections are happening there.” What doctor is doing that?
Leanne: Allergies. Allergies cause a lot of inflammation if you’re doing things that …
Jimmy Moore: Autoimmune issues, yeah I mean there’s all sorts of things that can raise inflammation and yet they’re not talking about inflammation because there’s no real pill to make inflammation better. There making 29 billion dollars a year selling Staten drugs.
Leanne: Billion. Okay, let’s talk a little bit about Staten, I can’t remember what book it was but they were saying that cholesterol is really important for brain health. You mentioned that too, the cholesterol uses the nutrient and moves it up to your brain, it’s really important. What I was reading is that as we age our cholesterol actually increases slightly to help with that aging process. You often meet people that are in their 40s, 50s, I know a lot of people in my family are now on Staten because their cholesterol is increasing. I always say, “Maybe that’s your body’s way of protecting yourself against aging.”
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, this is such a discouraging topic and I’ve gotten pretty upset about it when I talk to people like you, in interviews, because imagine this. Grandma is turning 65, and she’s starting to see her cholesterol get a little bit higher, so she goes to see her doctor, “Oh my gosh, your cholesterol going high, we need to put you on Staten drug.” She starts taking the Staten drug and removes the very element that was keeping her faculties about her in her head, and over the next four or five, even ten years you start to see a mental decline. What do we call it?
Senior moments. They joke about, “Oh you’re just getting older so you’re going to get dementia, you’re going to get Alzheimer’s, that’s just normal of getting older.” No! No it’s not. They’re taking these very drugs that are robbing the body of exactly what it needs to stay mentally sharp. I’m in my early forties now, I’m hoping twenty, thirty years from now … having all that butter I eat, and healthy fats is going to keep this noggin sharp. I think it will and I’ll be danged if I ever take anything that will take away the very key element that’s making my brain sharp.
Here’s an interesting thing that came out in Cholesterol Clarity. One of my experts, and we had 29 experts in the book that I quoted from, was Chris Masterjohn, and he said in traditional cultures, where there’s no heart disease at all, the normal level of total cholesterol for people in 6o-80s, want to guess? Of course if you read my book, you know.
Leanne: I know I’ve read it. 300?
Jimmy Moore: 300!
Leanne: Yeah, I was right?
Jimmy Moore: 300 is the normal. Yes. That’s 100 points higher than authorities today would say is “normal”. Yet if they put them on cholesterol lowering medication, do you know they would have been at greater risk for heart disease if they took that pill then they’re total cholesterol being 300. I think it all circles back around to it’s not about the cholesterol people, it really is about the inflammation.
Leanne: Okay. Let’s chat a little bit about cholesterol in relation to high fat living. If somebody is planning to go high fat, low carb, keto, a lot of people say “What can I expect my cholesterol?” For me, it went up. Can it go down? What sort of things can we expect when we transition from maybe a plant-based, maybe we’re vegan, maybe we’re just eating paleo or something, to this specific high fat, low carb, keto eating style.
Jimmy Moore: One thing we’ve not talked about, I alluded to a little bit earlier, is LDL particle size. When people hear LDL, they think “Oh that’s one number.” Uh-uh, it’s actually 2 major numbers, it’s a lot more than 2. It’s about 6 or 8 sub-fractions of LDL sizes. Primarily it’s pattern A and pattern B. Pattern A being the large fluffy kind. Pattern B being the small dense kind.
Leanne: I think of it as bumblebees, that’s how I remember. B’s like bumblebees.
Jimmy Moore: There you go, that’s right.
Leanne: Poking holes and doing damage.
Jimmy Moore: Or B-B sized, exactly. You can have that particular test run to see all the sub-fractions of your LDL. It’s called NMR lipo profile, it’s only 1 lab in the entire world that does it, they’re in Raleigh, North Carolina called Lipo Science. Your doctor again, any doctor can run the NMR lipid profile test, and it shows you all the typical things that you see … HDL, triglycerides, all that is on this test as well but you get that LDL particle size breakdown. You get the total particle number, which is called LDLP, and then you get small LDLP and that’s the one you want as low as possible.
Here’s what happens when you eat low carb, high fat, keto. The small LDLP number goes way down. Along with the triglycerides dropping, along with the HDL going up, along with all those other great markers that improve that nobody’s paying attention to in the medical profession, your small LDL goes down. The question that comes into play here is “What about the number of total particles?” That’s the debate that nobody’s going to answer until we do some studies on it.
Right now as long as all of these other preponderant of everything is doing well … triglycerides low, HDL high, small LDL, lower … those are the key markers that you really want to be looking at. For some people cholesterol will go up. I would say, “Who cares?” What you want to pay attention to … blood sugar, you want to pay attention to triglycerides going under 70, you want to see if you can get HDL above 70, because all of these markers are really what matters more. Then again that HSCRP so you know where you’re standing in your inflammation. If your inflammation keeps going higher while you’re doing this, there’s something about what you’re doing that’s causing that inflammation.
What we haven’t talked about is what raised inflammation yet. It’s two main things. I call them the twin villains in your health. Number one is, not surprising coming out of my mouth, carbohydrates are dastardly, especially the refined ones. Grains, starches, sugars, they’re just bad news for you and avoid if at all possible because they’re going to raise your inflammation the most. The second one, a lot of my low carb, keto friends are still eating. It disappoints me Leanne, because I think they don’t realize the negative impact that they’re having. It’s in just about every packaged food, even the so called low carb, keto foods. That’s vegetable oils. You really have to eliminate Canola oil, soy bean oil, cotton seed oil, corn oil … I don’t care if the American Heart Association has their stupid heart health symbol on it, it’s not heart healthy. The reason it’s not heart healthy … I’ll tell you why it’s heart healthy in a minute, why they think it is.
It’s not heart healthy because it’s raising inflammation. The reason they put in on there though is it does one thing on your cholesterol panel that they think is good. It lowers the LDLC number. It does. It will do it all day everyday. You can sit there and drink Canola oil, and your LDL will go down, your LDLC. That LDLC is just a calculated number using this thing called the Friedewald equation and it’s not directly measured. That’s another thing people don’t realize. LDLC is just totally an estimated number. When your triglycerides are under 100 and your HDL is over 50, it totally miscalculates what your LDL is. That’s why that NMR lipo profile test to know the particles is so important. I know I’m talking fast and saying a lot of technical terms.
This is so important. I think people need to know just because you lower your LDL doesn’t mean you’ve necessarily made yourself healthier. What it does when you have the vegetable oils and you lower your LDLC, you could see your total cholesterol go to 150 for example. Okay, you think you’ve done something good, what you’ve done though is you totally eliminated all of those healthy pattern A, the large fluffy kind, you’ve totally eliminated those drinking these vegetable oils because you’ve oxidized the LDL, making them into more of those small LDL and you’re at great risk for heart disease.
It’s ironic the very things that they’re telling us to consume to be healthy, whole-grains, vegetable oils, are the very things that are causing heart disease.
Leanne: Yeah, it’s really scary and I actually read Good Calories, Bad Calories and did a review on it on YouTube, and going through that whole thing it really paints a really scary picture about how this all came about. It’s really concerning and that’s why I know that you do what you do and I do what I do because we just want to share … this might not be exactly where you want to go with your health and do the research and it’s really great. I know that a lot of doctors, at least in Canada, refuse to do that NMR test.
Jimmy Moore: Really?
Leanne: My doctor said no, it doesn’t matter. If you want to do it on your own, great. That’s not the big picture here, is that your cholesterol is too high. Know that there are doctors out there that will probably say that to you.
Jimmy Moore: You as the patient are actually the one in charge. This is one of the themes of my books Leanne, is I want to empower patients to take back control of their own health again. People see doctors, “Oh well they have all the answers about health.” No they don’t. They’ve been given, if there lucky, a week or two worth of nutritional health information in their medical training. Everything else is physiological and pharmacological. They’ve been trained to drug you up.
Jimmy Moore: Quite frankly. They’ve not been trained to teach you how to do nutrition, and then if they turn to nutrition they either leave it to the dietitian who has been trained in low fat, high carb diets or they’ll just “Well, the USDA my plate says blah blah blah.” They’re just parading what someone else has said. They’ve not done their own research. Just assuming that your doctor knows everything about what it takes nutritionally to make you healthy is a bad mistake.
Leanne: Huge, horrible mistake.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah.
Leanne: Horrible. You mentioned a little bit about blood sugar and kind of related it to cholesterol a bit, I’ve seen a lot of people that adapt high fat, low carb eating style and then their blood glucose … we’re monitoring it and we’re monitoring it, and then it starts going up.
Jimmy Moore: In the morning.
Leanne: Yeah, specifically in the morning. Can you tell us a little bit about that, because there’s been a lot of questions in our community about that lately.
Jimmy Moore: Yeah. The next book that I’m going to write with my co-author, Dr. Eric Westman, not anytime soon because I’m tired of writing books right now … when we get back to it, it’s going to be on this blood sugar topic because it is one that is so confusing to people and I think focusing so intently on blood sugar is the wrong question to ask. I think we should be looking at blood insulin. I think that will be the tell tale sign of what’s really going on in your body. Blood sugar is going to do what it’s going to do. The body is trying, especially if you’re insulin resistant which a lot of people coming into a low carb, high fat diet are, hello …
Leanne: Hey, hi.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly. You’re already have a propensity for insulin resistance. It should not surprise you that as you get into this that you’re going to run into some of the manifestation of that, which is this thing called Don Phenomena, where in the morning you have a higher level of blood sugar, that’s totally normal. What tends to happen though, and certainly the people that have asked that question of you, I hope they’re testing later in the day as well. What you’ll see is later in the day, totally normal.
I think we obsess about numbers because we have been given a range that is supposedly the healthy, right range. Unfortunately there are a lot of mechanisms that we don’t know a lot about right now, that could be going on that makes that happen for some people in the mornings. I’ve just talked to too many of the experts, who say “Don’t worry about that. It’s really not the big deal. Keep an eye on your fasting insulin levels in the morning and even if you want to do a five hour glucose tolerance test, it’s call a 5 hour GTT, could go down to your doctor, please don’t drink that crappy glucose serum, because that will mess you up.” I actually did it one time with my co-author, he actually ran it with me … I wanted to see what would happen to my blood sugar and insulin levels when I had a low carb meal.
I had some eggs and some meat and all this stuff. Then they tested me literally every 30-60 minutes for five hours. I got to see literally what was happening real time after a low carb meal. I think that’s where having the right nutrition really is the basis for knowing where you stand. The other thing for people that are worried about this morning reading, check your A1C. That’s the average of the last 3 months worth of all of your blood sugars, not just the ones in the morning that you’re testing and freaking out about. By the way, when you freak out that also raises your blood sugar.
Leanne: It totally knocks you out of cue, it is amazing what stress does and ketosis it’s crazy.
Jimmy Moore: I wouldn’t fret so much about the blood sugar, I would definitely keep an eye on insulin. Unfortunately there’s just not an easy way to prick your finger and check insulin at home. It doesn’t exist yet. It’s coming real soon. It’s not available yet. I think the big take home is relax, chill out, you’re doing good for your body, especially like we talked about with the cholesterol numbers. If that HDL is going up, if the triglycerides are going down, the small LDL particles are going down, your HSCRP is under 1, why are you worried?
Leanne: Yeah totally, chill out. Do a little meditation if you need to get into the zone. Exactly. You mentioned vegetable oils causing inflammation, are there specific fats that will help us, like we’ve talked a little bit about saturated fats, we all know trans fats don’t even go there … the mono poly saturated, unsaturated, is there a certain ratio that we should be aiming for. I know you’re the guy that will just slice off butter and eat it … I am too, a little bit of Himalayan rock salt on there never hurt anyone. Are there specific facts that we should be focusing on?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, so in Cholesterol Clarity, we focused on two primary fats. That is the saturated fats, and the mono unsaturated fats, I also throw the omega-three fats in there as well. Obviously you want to get those into you. What’s interesting is people will see a steak for example, they’ll say “Oh, that’s all saturated fat.” No it’s not. It’s about half mono unsaturated fat, and about half saturated fat and has a little bit of poly in there as well. I don’t think you need to go out of your way to necessarily add in poly unsaturated fats, those fats come … omega-six fats specifically come from things like nuts. You get enough. What we’re trying to do is shift that ratio.
I don’t really pay attention to ratios, whether it’s macro nutrients or whether it’s fatty acids, I don’t really try to obsess … “Oh my gosh, I have 39.4 and I need like 40, I don’t do that’s dieting.”
Leanne: That’s a game you just don’t want to get into.
Jimmy Moore: Exactly.
Leanne: It’s nasty.
Jimmy Moore: They lie on the labels anyway so you can’t really be as precise as you want. That’s another day to talk about …
Leanne: Oh my gosh yes, bookshelf that.
Jimmy Moore: Saturated fats are like butter and coconut oil, there’s actually more saturated fat in coconut oil than butter. People don’t realize that coconut oil is like 90% saturated fat, whereas butter something like 60 something. Full fat meats and cheeses, full fat dairy, real food of course is what we’re talking about here. Don’t just read labels on boxes, “Oh Jimmy said.” So, no.
Leanne: Jimmy did not say that.
Jimmy Moore: I did not say that. You see my Instagram account, you know how much I hate processed boxed food. The mono unsaturated fats are avocados, avocado oil, 100% olive oil … that’s key too, make sure your getting olive oil that you know is 100% olive oil, because they can sneak in some of those omega-six facts into there and not tell anybody. That screws people up trying to avoid those. Of course, nuts have mono unsaturated fats as well. You can get a well rounded amount of fat from varying sources and that is really what’s going to help you in controlling your blood sugar, controlling your cholesterol, and controlling your inflammation.
Leanne: Okay, beauty. Awesome. Also too, if olive oil … I found a list online and I think the Kirkland, so Costco, organic olive oil I’ve read is okay and 100% olive oil.
Jimmy Moore: I haven’t seen it. The other thing that trips me out about the olive oil, since we’re on that topic and since I am inside of Costco and Sam’s club and all these stores all the time snapping pictures on my Instagram account …
Leanne: You sure are.
Jimmy Moore: I see on the back label it says, “Could contain olive oil from China, Chile, Singapore.” It has all these different countries of origin. I would think if you want olive oil, you want it to come from one source. Italy, California, you know … not all these multiplicity of “It could have come from.”
Leanne: Let’s poor all these things in there and have a party.
Jimmy Moore: People don’t pay attention to that, so next time you pick up an olive oil bottle, look at the back and see country of origin. If it just says Italy and it says 100% olive oil, go for it. If it doesn’t, buyer beware.
Leanne: Perfect tip. To go to the medical issues, I’ve had a lot of people say “If my LDL is higher, and my HDL is lower, is eating this way okay for me?” I would say just based on our conversation so far, “Heck yeah because this is going to increase your HDL and lower your LDL more than the grains and whole foods, whole grain things will do and any of those heart healthy packages.” I just tell people … if your food is coming from a package, especially if it has one of those heart healthy things on it, probably avoid it. Just go to the oats group of the store, grab what you need.
Also too, is there a relationship between high triglycerides and gestational diabetes or Type II diabetes? Would eating this way help with that?
Jimmy Moore: Indirectly.
Jimmy Moore: Only because when you have high triglycerides, it means you’re eating a lot of carbs which probably means your having fasting insulin and fasting blood sugar levels, which would be higher, which would contribute to that. Absolutely …
Leanne: It’s just a whole spiral?
Jimmy Moore: Yes, so it’s a spiral effect. It’s not necessarily the high triglycerides, but the high triglycerides definitely is an indication you’re not eating something correctly that might be causing those issues. One other thing about the diet we hadn’t talked about that I thinks really important needs to come out is protein. When you’re eating protein in excess, it can act just like carbohydrate in the body, which would show up in your triglycerides, would show up on your blood sugar and your fasting insulin levels. That’s important too. Sometimes Leanne, they’ve heard you talk about low carb, high fat, okay great. I’m going to have green beans and I’m going to have a chicken breast and then I’m going to put half of a table spoon of butter, man that is so high fat. I’m going to do so good and then they wonder an hour and a half later, “Why am I so hungry?”
The reason you’re hungry is that was not a high fat diet. That was a high protein meal that you had. While yes adding a little bit of fat is good, maybe a little more might be helpful in order to stay down those hunger things and what the hunger is, is your blood sugar being so high you can’t get it down because there’s this big long G word we talked about in my book Keto Clarity, called gluconeogenesis. When you eat more protein than your body can use, it actually can’t store protein. What it does is it sends that excess protein to the liver. The liver squirts out glucose, which is sugar. If you’re trying to be ketogenic, if you’re trying to control your blood sugar levels, you absolutely need to keep carbs low. That’s duh. You also need to moderate down on the protein. Especially if you’re insulin-resistant.
You have to keep the protein under control, it can get out of control and people then wonder “Well I’m eating next to no carbs, why am I so hungry? Why is my blood sugar all whack-a-doodle? I thought this Leanne lady with the glasses on YouTube said it wasn’t going to be that way?” Unfortunately, you need to pay attention to the protein as well. Just to give you an example of how mine looks, I can have about 25-30 grams of carbohydrates. I often joke Leanne that I’ve had all the carbs I’m allowed to have my entire life, the first 32 years of my life. Okay, it may not be true but it’s probably closer to true than not, that I have to limit them the rest of my life.
25-30 grams a day is about my max with carbs, which my avocado … when I have avocado, that’s about half of that allotment. I have to be real careful with that. My protein is about 80-100 grams. Doesn’t sound like a lot, I’m 6 foot 3, I’m doing my standing work desk here … 6 foot three in a big guy, 80-100 grams doesn’t sound like a lot but if I go over that I start having that gluconeogenesis kick in, and I can see it on my blood sugar monitor and I can see it on my blood ketone monitor. They go in the wrong direction. You have to be real mindful. Then you’re like, okay you cut the carbs, you moderate the protein, well then what do you eat? Hmm.
Leanne: Fats, fats, fats.
Jimmy Moore: This is where the fat, fat, fat comes in. That’s why I add butter and add coconut oil and the full fat dairy, and all the things that you can add fat to your diet and it makes it taste good. That’s the thing, people are like “Well, it’s not supposed to taste good, I’m on a diet.” I’m like “no, you’re on a live-it. Please live it up and have the fat.”
Jimmy Moore: That’s what’s going to totally make your numbers all look good but also more importantly how you will feel good when you do that.
Leanne: Yeah. In school actually we learned that after eating protein, if you get hungry, it’s your metabolism firing up. Um, no that’s not a thing.
Jimmy Moore: That’s a made up thing.
Leanne: Also another thing is if you eat too much protein you will just pee it out. That was another good one. There’s a lot of …
Jimmy Moore: Where did you go to school?
Leanne: Even a lot of my friends who went to the dietetics route, as oppose to the holistic nutrition route, we both were taught the exact same thing when it came to protein. Even my physio and my naturopath, there’s been a lot of misconception about protein. Getting back to the cholesterol and heart disease, if somebody has a history of heart disease in their family and they want to try eating high fat, low carbohydrate, keto … awesome. What you’re saying is perhaps for those types of people, look at your inflammation. Get that under control, while you do the high fat, low carb, keto thing and you’re actually doing your body a major service by switching to that eating style, especially if you have a history of heart disease in your family.
Jimmy Moore: What we’re talking about here, is genetics versus epigenetics. I have major genetics in my family, my full blood brother Kevin, 4 years older than me, at the age of 41 in 2008 he died of heart disease, diabetes, morbid obesity, it killed him. My dad had a heart attack at 48 and 50, I’m now 43. I have a genetic pre-disposition … oh, and my grandfather on my dad’s side died at 54 of a heart attack. My grandfather on my mom’s side died at 52 of a heart attack. A little bit of genetics that say I’m supposed to have a heart attack at a early age. The thing that you’re doing when you shift your nutrition is you’re changing the genetics and you’re taking an external approach to dealing with that, that’s where the epigenetics come into play.
You can change that genetics. I can’t change the genetic tendency, it’s going to be there. By golly, I’m going to pay attention to everything that I put in my mouth for that sake alone. Anyone with that kind of history, I don’t think it’s reason to freak out. I don’t think it’s a reason to think it’s an inevitability for you. It’s just one of those things that you have to pay attention to all of your numbers, anal retentively. That’s why I pay attention to my HSCRP so closely, that’s why I run my numbers so often. I know I have that tendency. I probably, had I not lost the 180 pounds in 2004, I would be in an early grave just like my brother.
Leanne: Yeah, that’s amazing that you took your health into your own hands. I think that’s so empowering for so many people. When we just say “enough is enough and we need to change.” For me I came at this from the hormone piece, but also we have a strong line of dementia in our family. Very, very strong. For me, it was how can I be as good to my brain as possible? Not only is this good for your heart and everything else, but also looking at the health of your brain, which we talked about with having enough cholesterol is important for our brain function, too.
Jimmy Moore: The good news is even the dietary guidelines committee is acknowledging “oops, we got it wrong when it came to dietary cholesterol.” A lot of people haven’t heard this yet, because they haven’t released the full report but they now have backed away from limiting the amount of cholesterol that you consume in your diet. You know how eggs have always been vilified because of there cholesterol content? They’re now saying, “Okay it’s not dietary cholesterol that’s the enemy. Please start eating cholesterol again.” You still go into stores and “Cholesterol free food.” It’s a natural cholesterol. I’m going “Okay, so something is going to have to happen.” It is happening Leanne.
That’s the cool thing. There is something pretty radical that’s happening behind the scenes in the food company. They know the gig is up, they know all these years they’ve lied to us about these products, the gig is up and people are realizing what they’ve done. Course I’m shining a light on a light on a lot of those things too, with what I do. I just think people need to pay more attention, and they are.
Leanne: Yeah, totally they are. Look at Crisco, which is so funny that picture they’ve shared on Instagram. Was that today or yesterday?
Jimmy Moore: Yesterday. Yup.
Leanne: Just saying that Crisco is now making coconut oil, I will never buy it.
Jimmy Moore: Organic, pure coconut oil. I saw this in Walmart, I was getting something for my wife Christine, and I was just walking across the aisle and I saw it there and it just jumped out at me “Crisco and coconut oil.”
Jimmy Moore: One of these things just doesn’t belong there. It was weird. I looked at it and I was like “Oh my gosh, if people knew the story about why Crisco was even invented.” It was supposedly to be an alternative to the saturated fat in things like butter, and coconut oil. It was very odd.
Leanne: Yeah, complete 180, which is great to see that happening.
Jimmy Moore: I won’t buy it either, there’s too many good coconut oil companies out there to support to give my money to proctor and gamble.
Leanne: Yeah, that believed in coconut from the very beginning and they didn’t go on this campaign of ridding it from the earth. I’m totally pro coconut oil and saturated fat. It’s been so great chatting with you about this cholesterol piece. I hope that a lot of our listeners, watchers, readers are going to benefit from the information that you’ve shared. If they want to know more about you Cholesterol Clarity is awesome. Keto Clarity is great. Your podcast, just download every single podcast Jimmy’s ever made. It will keep you busy for the next two years.
Jimmy Moore: At least.
Leanne: It’s crazy how much stuff you’ve put out there. Is there any other tips or advice or anything that you want to share with our listeners, watchers, words of wisdom?
Jimmy Moore: Yeah, just be in control of your own health. That’s the major theme that I’ve tried to push the last couple years. I’m tired of people advocating their responsibility for their own health to a dietitian, to a doctor, there’s just way too many resources. This YouTube channel you’re watching right now is just unbelievable for content, my podcasts, books, there’s all sorts of information that’s out there. A lot of it for free, take advantage of that because I think the more you know the more empowered you can be and whether doctors and dietitians and all these medical professionals like it or not, the empowered patient is the future of healthcare. I think if we’re going to really make a difference in our own lives, and then collectively as a culture in our health, it has to start with the individual caring again.
I didn’t care before 2004, when I weighed 410 pounds and was eating 16 cans of Coco Cola a day, and 2 boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes a day, and big plates of pasta and lot of crabby carb as I now call it. Now I do. I’m trying desperately to help the whole world embrace that message too.
Leanne: You’re doing a fabulous job, everything that you’ve put out there is just mind blowing. Had it not been for you, I would not be sitting here chatting about this because your book literally changed my life, backwards, frontwards, every which way.
Jimmy Moore: Awesome.
Leanne: If you haven’t read Keto Clarity guys, seriously pick it up. Just do it and then get Cholesterol Clarity too and read them back to back.
Jimmy Moore: We got a new cookbook coming out in July …
Leanne: Do you?!
Jimmy Moore: Maria Emerick is a real popular low carb, high fat, keto recipe maker and she and I are collaborating on the ketogenic cookbook. It’s actually on Amazon right now for pre order, but that comes July 28th, 2015.
Leanne: Amazing! Then get that too! That’s amazing. Thank you so much for being on my show today Jimmy. I really appreciate it.
Jimmy Moore: My pleasure.
Leanne: Have a beautiful day.