Today on Ask Prof Noakes Podcast we ask Prof. Tim Noakes for his advice on a topic that regularly raises it’s head. If someone is following the Banting diet what should they be asking their GP when it comes to testing our heart attack risk.
On the podcast in the past we have spoken quite a bit about heart attacks and heart attack risk on the Banting diet. We have also touched on cholesterol and that it is not really what you should be looking at on the LCHF diet.
What you should be looking at however is your calcium score. Today’s question is if someone is following the Banting diet and they go to their GP, what should they be asking their GP when it comes to testing that calcium score?
This person says their cholesterol is currently at 6, but they wanted to make sure they are in good shape. Their blood pressure is fairly high though and that is something that concerns them.
What is the exact test that they should be asking their medical practitioner to test for?
Prof Tim Noakes: The calcium score is a test you do with a radiologist. In other words you have to lie down and have this big equipment look at your chest and it measures the calcium present in the coronary arteries.
The Banting Diet and your calcium score
It is not something your general practitioner can do. It is something he would need to refer you to a radiologist, who would then do the test for you.
But to get back to what you should be testing in your blood – there was a paper out this week showing that for recurrent strokes, which is (I believe) pretty much the same disease, although high blood pressure may be more of a risk factor for stroke than for heart attacks.
Anyway, what they found was that it was your high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterols that are the best predictors of risk. That is a marker of your carbohydrate intake in people who are insulin resistant.
Everyone needs to know what their triglycerides are. If the triglycerides are over 0.6, you need to get them down. That is done by reducing your carbohydrate intake. So that is a very good marker of insulin resistance, and risk of all these arterial diseases which result from insulin resistance.