Dan "Nitro" Clark creator of the Gladiator Rock'n Run here. Nitro's Friday 5 - is a list of short tips on diet, peak performance, motivation and inspiration.
Last week we talked about the biggest mistake I'd made in my diet -- which I believe was the main cause for my heart attack -- in December of 2013. The critical error I made for years was eliminating all fats from my diet. I believed eating fat made you fat and caused heart disease. I avoided all flats like the plague.
After the heart attack - I dug deep into miles of research about heart disease, heart attacks and the effects of a high-carb low fat diets versus high-fat low carb diets. What I learned was eye-opening and life saving.
Last week we talked about how not eating good fats lowers your HDL (good cholesterol) and how this was the main culprit that led to my heart attack. Well... the story goes a little deeper than just the ratio of HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).
Stripping good fats from your diet also INCREASES the number of LDL (bad cholesterol) particles in your bloodstream.
WHY IS THAT BAD FOR ME?
I'll try to explain in it a way that doesn't make your eyes glaze over.
Healthy LDL cholesterol are larger and fluffy. Think little snow flakes happily and healthily floating along in your arteries. When we are unhealthy these little LDL snow flakes oxidize and break down into smaller pieces. Think particles of sand. Now, because the sand particles are smaller, they are much more likely to be able to penetrate the walls of your arteries -- and borough themselves in -- and start to create a plaque build up that over time clogs your arteries.
You can see the little yellow bastards breaching the walls of your arteries in in the diagram below. This is the beginning of plaque build up. NOT GOOD!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO CHANGE THIS?
Small LDL particles are wonderfully responsive to changes in your diet. Changes in your food choices and supplements can have large effects in reducing small LDL particles as well as increasing the numbers of HDL.
Sugar and refined carbs are the NEW FAT. Reducing carbs and sugar along with increasing good fats will have a dramatic effect on your LDL and HDL -- along with your overall health and waistline.
I was BLOWN AWAY at the results of making the dietary switch from a high carb diet to a high "good fat" diet. In the beginning -- it was so hard because the idea that "fat made you fat and was unhealthy" had be pounded into my brain for years.
But once I saw the RESULTS in my own blood work I was convinced that we've been doing it all wrong.
The big change didn't happen right away because after the heart attack they were stuffing my full of statins and I still wasn't eating enough good fats. The statins helped balance the cholesterol a bit but they didn't help with the numbers of dangerous small LDL particles.
It wasn't until I started eating a substantial amount of good fats - did my number of small particles decline and my good HDL soar. So much so, that I cut the statins down to half the minimum amount of the smallest recommended dose.
My cardiologist kept urging me to take a higher dose of statins - but the side effects were terrible. I made a deal with him. If I could keep my blood work numbers -- to what he considered AMAZING -- by changes in my diet alone -- then he would be okay with me taking a miniscule amount of statins.
With the increased amount of good fats and the reduction of sugar and carbs, the results of my blood work were AMAZING.
LDL - 50. HDL - 50.
Triglycerides under 50.
LDL particle count went from an alarmingly high 2000 particles to 700.
Not only that, but my body fat DROPPED from 17 percent to 11 percent at 51 years old eating more fat than I ever have!
My cardiologist was ASTONISHED.
HOW DID I DO IT?
I know, I know, I know... last week I said that I'd breakdown the different types of fat and the amount you need to eat to promote health, but I felt there was more information that I needed to share before I got down to the specifics.
Next week -- I'll breakdown the different types of fat and highlight the ones you should be eating that promote health, prevent heart disease and cancer, improve your mood and brain function, help you effortlessly lose weight, and hopefully keep you from making the same mistake I made. Promise!
P.S. Thanks everyone for sharing your stories and successes. I look forward to hearing more!
Please share your story or make comments below. And forward to a friend if you think any of the tips could help them.