By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-02-03 04:53:39 -0600
Started 2015-02-01 06:45:14 -0600

If you have been diagnoses with diabetes (type 2) you most likely have been given statins to get your cholesterol down and protect your heart. You have two types of cholesterol. Little tiny particles, they stick to blood vessels, and big fluffy particles, they clean the tiny particles out of blood vessels. Your total cholesterol numbers don't mean a lot for most people, even diabetics. Your ratio of big to small particles does mean a lot though. The more big particles of cholesterol you have the fewer small particles you will have that is reflected in your cholesterol ratio. The ratio should be 4.5 or less. (Mayo Clinic) The other fat number you want to watch is triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats too and if your triglycerides are over 150, that means you have too much carbohydrate in your diet. These fats clog arteries. Doctors don't usually know much about nutrition so they make this mistake. When you have your blood tested, ask for the printout of the
results. Highlight triglycerides and your cholesterol ratio as well as your A1c. This will help you
understand whether you really need statins. It is a goods idea to have your heart arteries scanned to see how your arteries look. The American Diabetes Association, doctors and diabetes educators have you cut the fat out of everything, that is incorrect too. Saturated fat does not raise cholesterol, trans fat (fake fat) do. It is excess carbohydrates that do the damage. I have a low carb, high saturated fat diet, my cholesterol ratio is 2.5 (4.5 is acceptable) my triglycerides are 63
(150 is acceptable) Mayo Clinic says to get good numbers, you need to exercise and eat a whole foods, high fiber, diet (no processed foods). My total cholesterol is 230-250 (considered high)and has been for forty years. I have the records to prove it. My arteries are not clogged and I have been diabetic for 30 years. Take control of your cholesterol and stay off statins. Exercise, eat low carb, high fiber, whole foods and a high fat diet. Watch your cholesterol numbers go in the right direction. Your weight will go down as well along with your A1c.

22 replies

GabbyPA 2015-02-02 08:47:47 -0600 Report

All cholesterol is needed. It is what repairs damage to your veins and arteries. It is kind of like internal scar tissue, but it's globs of cholesterol. Sadly, we can have a lot of repairs due to other things, and our LDL (or the little ones or "lousy" ones) fill in the damaged areas. The HDL (or the big fluffy ones or "helpful" ones) clean out the loose particles. Often, we need to increase the HDL to help keep the internal scarring down. And if that goes up our overall number can go up and then they want us to take statins. It is a mess.

My doctor wanted me on one before I was even at 200 over all. My HDL was low and I worked on getting that up with exercise and I also believe almond milk helped me there as well. I finally got it up in the good range and I was happy with all of that.

Statins bother the rest of my body and they are not worth it for me. I don't take them. I don't really think that cholesterol is totally understood. There are many schools of thought on it that turn conventional medicine on their heads.

haoleboy 2015-02-02 12:54:59 -0600 Report

LDL are larger than HDL particles … in the case of LDL the larger the better and the phrase "big and fluffy" refers to LDL and is desirable as smaller (comparatively) LDL particles penetrate arterial walls causing inflammation (then plaque) while those "Big Fluffy" more buoyant LDL particles will just "float" on by.
As a stroke survivor my #1 priority is cardiovascular health so I do a lot of reading on this sort of thing and have concluded that it is even more confusing (thanks to contradictory conclusions) than diabetes. Of one thing I am sure (as of today)… you want to increase your HDL levels and decrease your triglycerides.


GabbyPA 2015-02-02 19:13:40 -0600 Report

Ok, I must have misunderstood my instructor on that. It is my understanding that the HDL are the ones that help clean up things. That is why they are called "helpful" where the LDL is called "lousy". So what is the function of the HDL if not as I understood it?

haoleboy 2015-02-02 19:57:36 -0600 Report

the purpose of all lipoproteins is to transport lipids (fatty acids, cholesterol, triglycerides and more) to and from the cells. HDL does "pick up and return" cholesterol (hence good) but it is the smallest of the 5 lipoproteins. when they talk about wanting big and fluffy lipoproteins they are referring to LDL which, as I mentioned, is thought to more easily permeate the arterial wall (and deposit their fats) when they are 'small' which is a very bad thing.

GabbyPA 2015-02-03 04:53:39 -0600 Report

So when they test for cholesterol, they should test for size as much as numbers? It seems that size would be more important. And how do we get our LDL's to be big and fluffy?

RosalieM 2015-02-02 13:19:43 -0600 Report

I posted a new discussion "The real truth or confusion about cholesterol." I researched it well. If you don't find the answer there, ask me the question again. I even figured the math out, yeah for me! I am math challenged.

RosalieM 2015-02-02 11:37:02 -0600 Report

You are absolutely correct. Cholesterol is not fully understood and not only that but Mayo clinic gives confusing advice. Starting a new discussion that will help. Look for it.

TammyMSW 2015-02-02 07:45:05 -0600 Report

Interesting because my Dr put me on a cholesterol med and instructed me to keep up with my exercise regimen and work with the dietitian all to bring my weight down before the next Ac1. People keep freaking out when I tell them Dr didn't put me on a statin. Thanks for this info as it will help when I encounter those "freak-outers." (I'm starting to think I have bossy friends)

RosalieM 2015-02-02 08:16:22 -0600 Report

Cholesterol med is a statin drug as far as I know. What is the name of your cholesterol med?

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-01 12:27:52 -0600 Report

What pisses me off is two things..1) doctors that cut scripts without first discussing the possibility of bringing down high cholesterol through diet and excersize…and 2) doctors that believe all diabetics should be on a statin…regardless of cholesterol levels…I recently read an article where doctors where advocating for preventative statins for all diabetics…gag!!!

haoleboy 2015-02-01 12:16:21 -0600 Report

You keep mentioning that the ratio is important but which ratio? I'm guessing you are referring to the Triglyceride/HDL ratio (ideal is under 2.0) as that is an indicator of particle size.
It is also possible to skip the guess work and get a NMR lipid profile test. This test determines the actual number and size of the LDL particles in your blood. Your doctor should order this test if you are at risk for heart disease and have elevated cholesterol numbers.
I agree completely that statins should be avoided IF POSSIBLE but that is not always the safest way to go for some people as they are unable to maintain safe cholesterol numbers through diet and exercise alone.


RosalieM 2015-02-01 13:13:07 -0600 Report

The ratio I am talking about does not indicate particle size but rather if
there are enough big fluffy particles to keep the tiny particles out of the blood vessels. The big particles "sweep" the little particles out to be disposed of. You blood report may say your total cholesterol is too high as mine is, however if the ratio of big to small particles is 4.5 or less you don't need to worry and you don't need a statin. The ratio figure has it all figured in. Mine is 2.5 which is very good even though my total cholesterol is too high. My doctor told me last time that the ratio is all that counts. He didn't use to think this way, but he is learning.

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-02-02 06:03:40 -0600 Report

does NOT indicate particle size but Does tell you if there is enough BIG fluffy particles…isn't telling you about your big fluffy particles…(I am so smiling right now)..telling you about particle size…btw I have plenty of big fluffy particles…unfortunately…all my fluff is around my mid section…sorry I know this is a serious conversation..but I cant stop laughing about the "fluffy thing"…

RosalieM 2015-02-02 06:51:08 -0600 Report

Hi Jibber
I am laughing too. I quoted that fluffy thing from Mayo Clinic. I think they are trying to make a visual out of it. I visualize big fluffy particles of cholesterol
chasing my little wimpy ones. A better visual for males is my big ones wear green and gold as they are Green Bay Packers and the little wimpy ones are Chicago Bears. Go Packers! I am not a football fan, but you have to root for your local team, at least in this town you do!

haoleboy 2015-02-01 15:38:31 -0600 Report

Now I am thoroughly confused … what numbers are used for this ratio that would indicate the quantity of the large LDL? My understanding is that the ideal situation is to have fewer LDL particles of the large variety and that the only way to determine the actual number (and size) of those LDL particalsis by having that NMR test done.
below are my numbers …
Total: 148
LDL: 81
HDL: 58
Triglycerides: 47

Triglyceride/HDL ratio : 0.81
I have been off statins for going on a year now.


BreC 2015-02-01 09:24:42 -0600 Report

I totally understand that for some taking statins is a complete no no , but for me, I had rather be on the what I consider safe side. I was an assistant dance instructor for 11 years. I had not been diagnosed as diabetic at that time. Regular dancing 3 times a week in classes, going out on a Friday and Saturday night to dance(Only non alcoholic places) and dancing for 3-4 hours and that on top of being more active at that time, I got plenty of exercise. Yet, I had high cholesterol. Have had for most of my adult life. Yes, my diet back then was different but I have never been a big eater. Some would say I eat like a bird. I have a lot of heart diseases that runs in my family. I have slight plaque in one of my arteries in my neck but not enough at this time to do anything about it. The surgery would cause more problems than it would help. For me, I will take the statins. I cut out fried foods, I trim the fat from any meats that I eat, and try to do whatever I can to be able to wake up every morning and say,, Good morning Lord. Thank you for giving me another day with my loved ones.

esjesjesj 2015-02-01 08:04:30 -0600 Report

My experiences been much worse and much weirder. My triglycerides have been over 400 for at least 20 years. In the past couple of years, they have been over 700. I eat extremely low carbohydrate diet+acarobos. My regular cholesterol just took a jump upward when I started adding some beef into my diet for flavor variation..

It feels like I failed on every single cholesterol control drug out there. Seven statins, three 3 fibrates, niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, some powdered stuff.

The only thing that seems to have any vague effect on my cholesterol level is exercise. Which explains why my cholesterol level and up the past couple months. I've been immobilized both by cold/winter and in injured knee.

When I say I eat a low carbohydrate diet, i.e. low carbohydrate using the classical definition of total carbohydrates minus fiber carbohydrates. I recently discovered that the whole net fiber thing is a lie for my body.

I have the slow form of IBS. This means I need to take some form of fiber/laxative, in much higher doses (i.e. 2 tablespoons) per day for "proper operation". My blood sugar started going up, not spiky but almost like a slowly rising water table. I stopped taking the fiber, my blood sugar level goes down. I eat high-fiber vegetables, my blood sugar level slowly trends upward. I take acarbos with vegetables in my blood sugar doesn't rise.

My doctor and I have this conjecture. With slow IBS, my body has a chance to extract every single gram of carbohydrate out of my food possible. It is so efficient at extracting carbohydrates that's leaving finding carbohydrates to work on in indigestible fiber.

My reaction to this is "bloody f*****g hell!!!" Alternating with an exasperated "really?!?!"

Pegsy 2015-02-01 07:57:10 -0600 Report

My triglycerides were only slightly elevated 3 months ago so that tells me I am headed in the right direction re carbohydrates in my diet. My HDL has been good on every test but my LDL fluctuates a lot. It was at its worst when I was following the ADA diet given me by the dietitian that my doctor referred me to. I am anxiously awaiting the results of my most recent test. I will find out on Thursday.

RosalieM 2015-02-01 08:01:53 -0600 Report

Let us know your numbers, remember watch triglycerides and your ratio that will tell the real story about cholesterol, not your HDL or LDL numbers but the ratio of one to the other. The ADA diet was too high in carbs and that will shoot the triglycerides up and that figures in the mix too.

Papanna 2015-02-01 07:32:54 -0600 Report

As per your opinionCholestrol No is useless ornot necessary Doctors and lab reports says that normal value for
Total cholestrol < 200 HDL 30 - 70 LDL anfd T G < 100
My number is LDL 66 TG 65 HDL 43 VLDL18 T C 127 Please clarify

haoleboy 2015-02-01 12:11:50 -0600 Report

Papanna … based on those numbers your Tri/HDL ratio is 1.5 which is ideal .. in fact all your numbers look very good!


RosalieM 2015-02-01 08:09:58 -0600 Report

Hi Papana,
Total cholesterol is usually around 200-250. The exact number doesn't matter so much. The ratio does matter. It is usually listed on your report.
I am very poor in math, so don't know how to figure your ratios from the numbers you give me. Is the ratio listed on your report?
If TG stands for triglyceride and it is 65, that is real good.