The Tide is Turning: Changing Views on Cholesterol & Health

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: The newest research is changing the way doctors, individuals, and even government agencies view cholesterol's impact.
Air Date: 2/25/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Vinnie Tortorich
Vinnie TortorichVinnie Tortorich is an author, radio and podcast host, fitness trainer, and model. For over 20 years, Vinnie has been Hollywood's go-to guy for celebrities and athletes looking to get fit fast. In 2012, he started the Angriest Trainer podcast with co-host Anna Vocino, who was best known for the self-improvised show Free Radio on Comedy Central. In July 2013, Vinnie released his second book called Fitness Confidential. The book was written with Dean Lorey and covers Vinnie's career as a personal trainer, as well as his "no sugar, no grains" approach to eating healthily. He is also the creator of Pure Vitamin Club, “the world’s best multivitamin supplement.”
  • Book Title: Fitness Confidential
  • Guest Twitter Account: @VinnieTortorich
The Tide is Turning: Changing Views on Cholesterol & Health
Related Article
For many years, you’ve been hearing all about how cholesterol is bad, you shouldn’t let it get too high, and that it can be dangerous for your health. New research is now changing the way cholesterol is viewed by doctors, individuals, and even government agencies.

The Changing Story of Cholesterol

Back in the 70s no one even knew what cholesterol was, argues author and celebrity fitness coach Vinnie Tortorich. Heart disease numbers also weren’t as high as they are now. Today, there is a huge emphasis on the balancing act that happens between good cholesterol (HDL) and so-called “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Thoughts have changed almost yearly when it comes to what foods to avoid, what risks are associated with cholesterol, and what foods help reduce the bad kind.

It was previously thought that LDL caused plague build-up in your arteries, which eventually led to cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. But, it turns out the plaque build-up is actually due to inflammation caused by eating grains and sugar.

The news can have a huge impact on the pharmaceutical industry. According to Tortorich, statins are the number-one selling drug, accounting for 6 to 8 billion dollars in sales. Even though statins don’t really help much with anything other than lowering cholesterol while taking the medication, they are continually prescribed without much attention to side effects. This is troubling, since many studies have shown that statins can have worse side effects than having high cholesterol.

Changing your Diet to Lower Cholesterol

Tortorich recommends dropping sugars and grains wherever possible and sticking to healthy proteins and greens. If you would like to eat some grains, he has a surprising recommendation: swap popular quinoa for white rice. While quinoa has double the protein of most other grains, it actually still isn’t very good for you. White rice, on the other hand, is healthier than previously believed, and if eaten in moderation, won’t affect your heart health.

With the changing views on cholesterol, it can be stressful determining what you should do next. If your doctor is prescribing statins for you, or you have a loved one in the same situation, ask if they are open to trying out this new method of omitting grains and sugars.

In the accompanying audio segment, "The Angriest Trainer," Vinnie Tortorich, discusses the changing perspective on cholesterol, as well as the real culprits in heart disease and other illnesses.

Alonso is a long-time health and wellness advocate who loves to write about it. His writing spans the scope of blogs, educational magazines, and books, both on and offline.