Please share with anyone you know who has high cholesterol or is on cholesterol lowering medication.
Are you confused by what your cholesterol levels really say about your health? Don’t you wish someone could just spell it out in simple English and tell you what, if anything, you need to do to improve your heart and overall health?
Jimmy Moore is hear to tell us about his new book, ‘Cholesterol Clarity’.
Full Interview: Cholesterol Clarity & the Truth About Heart Disease
Health blogger Jimmy Moore shares with us some invaluable lessons including why consuming saturated fat is good, why carbohydrates are detrimental to attaining the best cholesterol numbers and why there is a growing number of physicians, researchers and nutritionists who believe treating cholesterol numbers is virtually irrelevant.
Cholesterol Clarity: Jimmy teamed up with Dr. Eric Westman, a practicing internist and nutrition researcher, to bring you one of the most unique books you’ll ever read on this subject, featuring exclusive interviews with twenty-nine of the world’s top experts from various fields to give you the complete lowdown on cholesterol.
- Cholesterol Clarity: The inspiration behind the book [015:34]
- Simplifying the cholesterol jargon [015:34]
- What really is the best way to measure heart health [019:45]
- What to eat for ultimate heart health [038:58]
- What alcohol can we drink for heart health? [040:30]
- and much more…
You can follow Jimmy Moore on:
You can view all Health Session episodes here.
Are you confused about high cholesterol? Did you find this helpful? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy
Jimmy Moore & Cholesterol Clarity: The Transcript
Guy: Hey this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to Podcast #18. Our very special guest today is no other than podcast legend Jimmy Moore. Jimmy’s here to tell us about his brand new book that he’s written called Cholesterol Clarity and I think he interviewed 29 experts to put this book together and, well, what he has to say is just incredible, really, so I urge you to listen to it and more importantly, if you know anyone with high cholesterol or is on cholesterol-lowering medication to share it with these people so they can get a different perspective on the whole industry and make a more informed decision moving forward.
Jimmy’s a very honest, sincere, very upbeat guy and it was just awesome to have him on the show today and share all these gems of information that you just don’t think about. As always, if you are listening to this through iTunes, please leave a review for us. It helps us get the word out there and improves our rankings on iTunes and more people can find us and the message that we’re actually trying to spread and if you are so, come over to our blog, 180Nutrition.com.au/blog and you can see these videos in action as well. So until the next time, please enjoy the show.
Guy: This is Guy Lawrence, I’m always joined with Mr. Stuart Cooke, and our special guest today is no other than Jimmy Moore. Jimmy, thank you for joining us. I pretty much want to expose you to an audience over here as well that might not know who you are. And, you know, from what I’ve followed you over the years, you’re pretty much the rock star of podcasting now, I think. How many podcasts have you actually done now?
Jimmy: So if you count all three podcasts that air five days a week, I’d say it’s probably close to over a thousand episodes.
Guy: That’s insane.
Jimmy: And just the one has 700 what did we just pass, Christine? Like, 720, something like that.
Guy: And that’s the Livin’ La Vida Low Carb, right? And what;
Guy: What would the other ones be, Jimmy?
Jimmy: So, Thursday nights I do a live show at 7 p.m. Eastern time in the United States and it’s called “Ask the Low-Carb Experts.” So we take somebody that I know is an expert on some subject and we talk about that subject. I have people, you know, call in with questions and emailing questions and it’s a lot of fun. I like that show and then on Fridays we do a show called “Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends” where we have headlines that are out there, I know you guys get them there in Australia. The health headlines that make you want to scream, so we scream about them on that show. I’ve got a registered dietician, Dietician Cassie is her name, and we invite on some people in the community. We’ve actually had some people from Australia on. It’s a little hard to get the time zone thing right.
Stuart: Yeah, tell us about it.
Jimmy: So, yeah. That’s—
Guy: I can imagine. I can imagine. So, what we thought we’d do is before we, y’know, ’cuz we want to cover your brand new book, Cholesterol Clarity, but before we do could you just tell us a little bit I guess about yourself? Your journey, why you started podcasting and what led you up into this point, really. I think.
Jimmy: Sure. So, if you’d asked me ten years ago, Guy, if I would be one of the people out here in the world talking about health and diet and nutrition and fitness, I woulda laughed my head off. I would say 410-pound man, how many kilos would that be?
Stuart: That’d be 200 kilos at least.
Jimmy: Oh. Yeah. So, 200 kilos and I had 5-XL shirts. I wore a size 62-inch waist pants. I was a big boy. And I was doing some really (as far as nutritionally,) I did care about nutrition. I just ate and I thought Coca Cola was food, I thought Little Debbie Snack Cakes were food, you know, big plates of pasta; that’s food. I was the typical American eating a crappy diet. And I was on prescription medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, breathing problems. I was literally a ticking time bomb at the age of 32 and I needed to do something. So my mother-in-law actually gave me a copy of a book called Dr. Atkin’s New Diet Revolution for Christmas in December of 2003. So, thanks, Mom. She gave me a diet for Christmas. I read the book and I thought, “Man this guy is wacked out. How do you eat more fat and lose weight and not get clogged arteries? How do you eat less carbohydrate, isn’t that how you get your energy? Aren’t you going to be lethargic all day? So I had tried low-fat diet after low-fat diet so many times, Guy, I was just frustrated and so I was like “Okay, well I’ve tried all of these other low-fat ones, so let’s try a high-fat diet.” And the first month I lost 30 lbs, what’s that, about 15 kilos.
Jimmy: At the second month I lost another 20 kilo and by the end of 100 days, I’d lost almost 50 kilos and by the end of the year it was right around, right around 90 kilos that I had lost.
Guy: That is…
Stuart: Huge. I often hear people frustrated, they can’t change. And, y’know, they seem to do the same cycle constantly. What was the changing factor for you? Because you’d tried to diet and it just wasn’t working. You didn’t give up, though.
Jimmy: Right. Y’know, for me what it was was for the first time in my life, I ate in such a way that I didn’t feel like I was dieting. So all those times before that I’d done low-fat diets, I felt hunger. I felt cravings, I felt deprivation. I felt all of these things that make people give up on a diet. But when I started Atkins and started eating high fat, low carb, I mean you tell somebody, “You can eat fat, butter, real butter. You can have bacon, you can have all of these things that have always been forbidden on a diet,” suddenly they now become health food, which bacon is health food, by the way, and suddenly you’re able to get a buy-in factor. So, for me the buy-in factor was, I had no hunger. I had no cravings after a certain period of time. I had great satisfaction in the foods I was eating. And it took me probably about six months to totally say, “You know what? I used to be a sugar addict and a carbohydrate addict, but I don’t miss those things anymore. And here it is, almost a decade later, and I still don’t miss bread. I don’t miss pasta, I don’t miss the sweet things. I don’t want any Coca Cola in my mouth, much less 16 cans a day. I mean, it was those kind of changes up here that just, the switch happened. And seeing the results I was seeing on my body, losing weight, but more importantly than that was all the ways that I just felt better. I knew there was something special about what I was doing.
Stuart: And then you had to podcast about it.
Jimmy: Well, the first thing I did was I started a blog. So everybody knows me for my podcast now, but I actually started a blog about a year and half before the podcast. And so I started Living la Vida Low-Carb blog in April of 2005 to start sharing and then some people noticed that and one of them was a guy that produces podcasts. He said, “Dude, you gotta get a podcast show” and I was like, “Well, what in the world is a podcast?” This was 2006. And he said, “Oh, you just talk on the radio and do like some rants.” And I’m like, “I can rant.” So I started doing that and the first 50 episodes of the Living la Vida Low-Carb Show were indeed just rants, and then I started stumbling upon going to these conferences and trying to learn about this and meeting obesity researchers and medical doctors that are treating patients and I started doing interviews and of course I started doing that and loved it. And now it’s kinda the forte of what I do on my shows.
Guy: Yeah it’s fun times. For anyone listening to this, I urge people to go on and check out your podcasts and to have em. Because the guests you’ve got on there, Jimmy, are just fantastic, they’re phenomenal.
Jimmy: I’ll interview anybody, too. That’s the fun part. I’ll have obviously paleo and low-carb and primal people, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, those kind of people, Loren Cordain, Gary Taubes, I’ve had all of ‘em on there, but I’ve also thrown in a few vegans from time to time like Durian writer in your neck of the woods. I’ve had Dean Ornish and I recently had John McDougall on, whose a big starch-based diet guy. So, you know, we like to have fun and the key is not to necessarily follow everything that you hear from everybody. But I think there’s something at least in everybody’s story, even Dean Ornish and XXTough??XX MacDougall. There’s something that they have to offer that you can apply in your life right now to make yourself healthier.
Guy: That’s a really good point. Cuz we, I stumbled across Tim Noakes on your podcast as well, that was the first time I’d heard of Tim and we had him on the show a couple of weeks back.
Jimmy: Love him.
Guy: He was awesome. Funny enough was, Tim, the switch that changed him was the diet, the Atkins book as well for him. I’ll have to read ’cuz I haven’t read the Atkins book, actually.
Jimmy: If you read one I think it’s interesting to kinda read the progression of how Atkins came about and progressed, because the original one that came out in the early ’70s, “Atkins Diet Revolution” was the name of that one, he was hardcore, I mean it was all about all meat, like very high fat and protein and that was pretty much it. Maybe a few veggies. Then he had to moderate a little bit, because people were like, “That’s too boring, I want to do something a little more,” so that why in the ’90s he came up with “Atkins New Diet Revolution” and there was an update in the early 2000s with that one. And then in 2010 a group of researchers, all three of which have been on my podcast, wrote a brand-new Atkins book; they called it “The New Atkins for a New You.” I believe that’s the one that Tim Noakes read. So you can kind of see the progression of how Dr. Atkins started doing this even before any science proved that what he was saying was true. He was putting it out there. Now we have science that supports it and the “New Atkins for a New You” definitely presents that in a really clear way.
Guy: Absolutely. So talking about books and talking about your brand-new book, Cholesterol Clarity, what made you decide to move toward this topic and write about it, Jimmy?
Jimmy: So after I lost 180 pounds, the 90 kilos in 2004, I went to my doctor a really excited guy. I was like, “You know what, he’s going to be so proud. My health is gonna be so amazing.” I felt amazing. And so I get there and he was indeed proud of the weight loss, he said, “But let’s run your cholesterol.” So I said, “Okay, no problem.” I got the cholesterol results and I saw my HDO good cholesterol was 72.
Jimmy: Anything over 50 is really good, 72 was rocking it. So then I checked my triglycerides, and they were 43, which again, anything under 100 is spectacular. So I was doing really well there. So I go into the doctor’s office and I said “Aren’t my cholesterol test results amazing?” And he said “No. They’re horrible.” I said, “What are you talking about? My triglycerides and HDO got measurably better on this diet.” He said “Oh, but your total cholesterol (and I know you guys have different ways of measuring it in Australia) was something like 285,” so whatever that translates to, it was kind of high compared to what they want. What would normal be would be like the equivalent of like 200 in Australia.
Guy: I looked at the maths here yesterday. So for every one, I think it’s millimole here, it’ll be 38.6 in the states. So. So there’s the maths.
Jimmy: Somewhere around 5.0 sounds like it’s about normal and mine was about maybe 6.2 or 3. Anyway, it was high on his kind of parameters for looking at this. So I said, “So, is this negating all the good things that happened to the rest of the panel?” All he was paying attention to was total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and he was pushing a statin drug on me. Now, a statin drug is a cholesterol-lowering medication, things like Lipitor and Crestor and you guys are lucky in Australia they can’t advertise on television, is that right, the pharmaceutical companies?
Jimmy: So, here in the States absolutely they advertise the heck out of us. What they do, you guys, is they send nicely-dressed beautiful young people to go in as pharmaceutical reps into the doctor’s offices, I assume they do that in Australia too, but they do that here and they tell ’em, “This is the cure for heart disease, you need to be putting all your patients with high cholesterol on these medications” and then on television we’re sitting there watching it as a consumer, “Go lower with your cholesterol numbers. So ask your doctor about taking Lipitor.” So people go to their doctor, they have a high cholesterol come in and they dutifully ask their doctor about the medication. The doctor: “Why, yes, I do have that medication. In fact, I have free samples to give you today to help you go lower.” So it was that whole kind of ruse, for lack of a better term, that got me first starting to think about this. There’s more to this story than total cholesterol and LDL and yet even here in 2013 around the world there’s still obsessed those two numbers and predicating all treatment just on those numbers.
Stuart: The cholesterol jargon I think would certainly go; certainly goes over my head. It certainly goes over most people’s heads. They’re generally aware of high cholesterol, or your cholesterol’s okay. And when you do go a little bit deeper, you’ve got your HDL, LDL, triglycerides, C-Reactive proteins. So for the likes of you know, me and Guy and our audience, how can we simplify this? What should we be looking for?
Jimmy: Well, that was one reason I wrote Cholesterol Clarity, because I wanted people to know that this is not as complicated as it’s been made out to be. And even beyond that it’s not as simplistic as total cholesterol and LDL.
Jimmy: People think: “LDL bad, total cholesterol high bad, and HDL well, maybe it’s sort of good and they know nothing else. I think what we’re trying to get people to understand is, all of that is dead wrong. Because your total cholesterol really doesn’t tell you much about your health. And I’ve been using this analogy on other stations, but I said, “Your total cholesterol is like knowing the end of a baseball game is 25.” Now does that make any sense at all? Would you know if it’s a 24-1 blowout or a 13-12 barn-burner,;you just don’t know what that ‘25’ represents.
Same with your total cholesterol, and there’s two wrinkles in total cholesterol that people need to know about: HDL is the good cholesterol that you want to have higher, so maybe part of your total cholesterol being above that level they deem as safe, maybe a lot of that is your HDL cholesterol. I had a lady last week, she was freaking out because 225 total cholesterol and her doctor was pushing a statin drug. Well, I asked her what her HDL cholesterol was; it was 105 of that. So almost 40 percent of her total cholesterol was this kind you want to have very high.
So that’s flaw number one in the total cholesterol. Then, number two is that LDL C number is only a calculated estimated number. It’s not an exactly-measured number. There in Australia, you don’t even have an ability to exactly measure what your LDL is. They use this equation called “The Friedwald Equation” to determine what that number is, but if you have low triglycerides and high HDL, that Friedewald Equation isn’t going to calculate your LDL correctly, so it’s gonna make you look like you have a high cholesterol than you really do. Luckily here in America we have a test that we can have run called an NMR lipo-profile test, a little bit more fancy test and unfortunately it’s only available in the United States because they run it out of North Carolina. And it measures exactly the number of particles, the LDL particles that are in your blood and that’s what’s important now. In Australia you have a way to test for particles, it’s called an apo B test. So you can have that run and your doctor can have it run. It will show you the number of LDL particles through that apo B number.
Guy: Wow. I think was listening to the podcast you were with Abel James and he used the analogy of standing on the scale and I thought that was a very good analogy as well, because it doesn’t give you the true makeup of what the weight is, whether it’s muscle mass, body fat, visceral fat, there’s so many things going on.
Jimmy: Or if your wife is stepping on the scale behind you. [Guys laugh.] Sorry, honey.
Guy: So. One of the messages is plenty clear, is not to be just fed information. So if someone is listening to this with high cholesterol, do your homework. Start looking for other opinions as well and research it. You’d have to be, otherwise, if, I guess the point is as well, what should we do to check for good heart health? So, if somebody is listening to this with high cholesterol, they’re now confused and not sure and they go, “What should I be doing to measure my heart health?”
Jimmy: Sure. So, there are some key markers that can help you understand. Number one: cholesterol is not anything to do with heart disease. I hope people understand: high cholesterol in and of itself is not a disease. It may indicate that there’s other things going on somewhere in your health and we talk about that in the book as well. You know, low thyroid can raise your cholesterol, losing weight can raise your cholesterol. One thing that I learned when I visited Australia last year, I spoke with a holistic dentist in Sydney, Ron Ehrlich, so he told me if you have periodontal issues going on and I had several root canals that had gotten infected, that can raise your cholesterol. I’ve since gotten that fixed and I’m anxious to see what it does to my cholesterol levels and I also had some mercury amalgams taken out and replaced, so.
Guy: Wow, there you go.
Jimmy: That toxicity can raise your cholesterol as well, so there’s all kinds of things that can raise cholesterol. So cholesterol being elevated in and of itself is not a problem. The problem comes into play when you have inflammation levels and you guys mentioned earlier: the key test for measuring for inflammation is CRP. So get your C-Reactive protein, it sometimes shows up on the test as HSCRP, High-Sensitivity C-Reactor Protein. At that level you want to have under 1.0. My current level of CRP is .55.
Jimmy: And so you want that to be as low as you possibly can, because without that inflammation in your body, you cannot have heart disease.
Guy: There you go. So is there a universal reading? Would that be the same in Australia?
Jimmy: I believe, yeah, I believe the numbers translation one for one because I think it’s like A1C is the same in Amer-yeah. We’re kind of weird in America, we kind of use all these kinda different readings, but I do think that one is exactly the same, yeah.
Guy: Yeah. So, so–
Jimmy: In the back of the book we do provide, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.
Guy: That’s okay.
Jimmy: In the back of the book we do provide a conversion table for all the numbers in the book so that anybody internationally that doesn’t understand kinda numbers that I’m writing in the book, you’ll get a translation of every single number in the book in the back of the book.
Stuart: Perfect. That’s a good bit of information, Jimmy, it really is.
Guy: Absolutely. So for anyone wanting to get their, I guess, cholesterol checked today.
Guy: C-Reactive would be up there on the list, you have to get that done.
Guy: So would that perhaps be, and is that just through just standard blood test, you go and say “Look, just C-Reactive protein”?
Jimmy: Yep, that’s right. It’s a very easy test. Any doctor in the whole world can run that test. And then if you wanna look at your cholesterol panel, I’d say the very, the most uninteresting part of that panel is your total cholesterol. It really doesn’t tell you a whole lot and neither really does the LDL C, which we explained already is merely an estimated, calculated number. So forget those two numbers, I know that’s what your doctor wants to obsess about, and he obsesses about it because he’s got a pill that can lower those numbers, that’s the only reason he obsesses about it.
Stuart: So—Sorry Jimmy, keep going.
Jimmy: I was gonna say, so if you want to look at something interesting on your cholesterol panel, look at the triglycerides number, look at the HDL number. If the ratio between the triglycerides and the HDL is one or less, you’re beautiful. You’re doin’ great. That’s extremely healthy for you to have that ratio and it’s that ratio between the triglycerides and the HDL that people need to be more aware of than total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Guy: Jolly. So it’s high HDL, low triglycerides and a low score for C-Reactive protein.
Jimmy: You’ve got it. Those things are in place, you’re beautiful.
Stuart: And if your C-Reactive protein is high in the results, then you should look at what’s causing the inflammation for that.
Stuart: Which is—
Jimmy: And we talked thing—
Stuart: What you mentioned.
Jimmy: Exactly. And we talk about in the book two major things in your diet that if you’re eating right now, you probably want to back off on ‘em, like, a lot. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise coming out of my mouth what one of them is: carbohydrates are a huge inflammatory part and not just like all carbs, I mean obviously green leafy vegetables are good, non-starchy vegetables, but we’re talking about the highly inflammatory sugars and grains that are not healthy, whole grains. They’re very highly inflammatory grains. The human body was never meant to consume grains and yet people eat bread and pasta and they don’t even think twice about it. Sugars, grains and anything, really, that’s gonna spike your blood sugar. So if you can get a glucose monitor, are they prolific to get a blood sugar monitor there in Australia that you can just buy it at a pharmacy?
Stuart: Yeah. You can get them.
Jimmy: Yeah, so get one. See how you’re doing in your blood sugar and it’s gonna tell the tale. And then as far as the other food that you’re eating that you need to be cutting out is vegetable oils. I know David Gillespie, who was one of my great experts, we had 29 total experts in the book and I was so happy to get David Gillespie, because he just literally wrote the book on toxic oil and talking about all of these vegetable oils. I mean, I’m so proud that one of your countrymen is really kind of pulling the curtain out, I mean he did it with sugar, now he’s doing it with the oils and these oils, everybody and their mama’s eating these oils and it’s in all the packaged foods.
Jimmy: I mean , if we got rid of the carbs and got rid of the culprit carbs and got rid of the vegetable oils, man, how much healthier would we be as a world?
Guy: Yeah. Massively. Massively. Yeah, absolutely everywhere, like you say.
Stuart: And they’re just two things. Y’know, and they’re, but the problem is they’re insidious, and you go to the local supermarket and they’re in everything.
Jimmy: They’re ubiquitous and in literally every food that’s manufactured by some company. And that’s why I say just eat real food because guess what? That steak, those eggs, that real butter? They’re ain’t no carbs and there’s no vegetable oils to be found. Now, you gotta be careful with butter, because sometimes they like to mix in vegetable oil with butter as a blend and ooh, “This is butter? Blend!” and I’m going “No no no no no, you put some nasty soy bean oil or whatever in there and no thanks.”
Guy: The message is certainly different than what we’re told.
Stuart: Why do you think… I kind of like in this message to a little bit of a Fight Club scenario…there are these small pockets of activists who really get this and fight for it and understand it and it makes so much sense and you feel so much better, but it’s still an underground message. Why doesn’t this go mainstream?
Jimmy: You know what, but for the internet this would still be an underground, y’know, nobody’d ever heard of message. And I think there’s not enough people paying attention to be honest. And the mainstream has not, up until this point, I mean we’ve seen a few glimmers, I know David Gillespie’s gotten some nice publicity there in Australia, Gary Taubes has gotten some pretty good, and Robert Lustig here in America, but for the most part, the people just aren’t getting this information, which is why I’m so passionate about doing a podcast, I’m very honored that it gets a quarter million people pretty much listening every single week. That’s not near enough when there’s literally hundreds upon hundreds, even billions of people around the world. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, so why isn’t it getting out? The powers that be? Big pharma? Big agri? All of these companies that have vested interest in keeping people buying into the low-fat mantra, buying into the cholesterol-is-the-cause-of-heart-disease…as long as people still believe that, they’re not gonna hear anything else. Which is one reason I wrote the book Cholesterol Clarity is that I didn’t think enough people and including doctors even knew about this stuff. And so we’ve got all these medical doctors and researches and activists like David Gillespie, y’know, in the book to give it kinda some credibility and look, this is not just some friend’s Joe Schmo, you know, guy that used to weigh 410 lbs saying this, this is a group of respected people that say “Look, we’ve been lied to for long enough. It’s time to tell the truth.”
Stuart: Fantastic. I think you, was it 29 experts for your book? That you kinda…
Jimmy: Yeah, 29 experts, plus my co-author, Dr. Eric Westman, who, ironically, was the co-author on “The New Atkins for a New You” as well, so I was very honored to have him come onboard, he literally guy, he went behind everything I wrote and made sure everything I was saying lined up with the science, that it is accurate. He wouldn’t have allowed me to not do that. And I’ve gotten a little bit of criticism from some reviewers so far of the book, they say, “Well, you didn’t cite it. You didn’t have, like, references all in the back of the book. You know, Gary Taubes and ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ had 150 pages worth of citations.”
Guy: That’s right.
Jimmy: That would have scared so many people that I was trying to reach with this book. This book includes a lot of studies, but we just cite all the information about the study in the book itself and then if somebody’s interested they can go Google it.
Guy: Yeah, I think the key is to just get people to start thinking a little differently, you know? Even if they don’t understand or, sure, at least be aware that there’s other options. Or, “Hang on, maybe what I’m being told is not quite right, I need to look to other ways of information.” You know?
Jimmy: Yeah. And that’s a goal.
Guy: What about on the other side of the coin? Low cholesterol. If, for instance, we’re going to be tested and our cholesterol is very low. Is that an issue?
Jimmy: Yeah, it is actually, and we wrote a whole chapter about this: “What Do You Mean, My Cholesterol’s Too Low?” And that will shock people because all we hear, you don’t hear, but we hear commercials on our television here in America, “Go lower, go lower, go lower.”
Jimmy: You, you know, you would have, you know, you go on the street and you say “Hey, what’s the lowest cholesterol that’s healthy?” Some people would say zero and they would be so ignorant of the fact that cholesterol is vital to literally every cell in your body. Without cholesterol, you would die. And so lower levels of cholesterol and especially HDL cholesterol it’s bad news.
I mean, you’re putting yourself at more risk and there was a famous example in the book of an American journalist. He was the host of “Meet the Press,” a very famous news show here in America named Tim Russert. And Tim Russert, we tell this story in the book, had a total cholesterol of 105, which is extremely low. I’m not sure how that translates, but I think it’s something like 2.5 for you guys; it’s really, really, really low. So he died of his very first heart attack in his 50s. He was on cholesterol-lowering medication, a statin drug, he was eating a low-fat diet, eating healthy whole grains, riding a bike every day, and yet he had this incredible cholesterol that just one month before he died, his doctor told him, “You are the picture of heart health.” Because his cholesterol was 105 and yet one month later, he died of his very first heart attack in his 50s.
You wanna know why he died? His inflammation, so there’s that CRP number again, inflammation level was super high; it was like 6 or 7. And he had a heart scan done, I know you guys can’t, I don’t think you can get that done, maybe you can, a CT scan of your chest, and it will measure for calcified plaque. His heart scan score was very high as well, 500. Mine’s zero, by the way. And it’s those kind of things that people, they don’t understand. “Wait a minute, how did that guy die if he had 105, I thought that was healthy,” and yet it was extremely unhealthy and then the side effects that we talk about in that chapter, the neurological effects. If you don’t have enough cholesterol, you start getting moody, you start having all of these kinds of fits of suicide, I mean, it’s really bad news so, if you’re listening to this and you have very low cholesterol, please go eat a stick of butter right now.
Stuart: People are so scared of it, though, like I know so many people that just terrified of fat food, especially when they’ve consumed a bunch of carbs.
Guy: They have to be, they have to be scared, look at the industry, the message is everywhere.
Stuart: I remember being back here. I was in the UK last year and I was making a family member in hospital and I was making visits daily and the moment you walk through the door in hospital there’s a great big huge poster advertising margarine that was cholesterol-lowering heart healthy. And I’m just thinking “This whole message is just ahhh.” It was just painful, so painful.
Jimmy: And in America you can hardly find butter, you can hardly find full-fat Greek yogurt, I mean they’ve got huge, huge space on the shelf for all this margarine and I can’t believe it’s not butter (but I can) and all this horrible, horrible stuff. And then same on the aisle with all the vegetable oils. Literally, like 25, 30 feet worth of just canola oil and soy bean oil and all these vegetable oils that people are cooking in and have no idea it’s killing them.
Guy: Such a big industry.
Stuart: Feed them the hydrogenated oil and then come in the statin drug that you advertise to lower your cholesterol.
Jimmy: It sounds like the best conspiracy sick theory of all time, doesn’t it? It really does; it’s hard not to think that way.
Guy: I think they’re gonna be making films about this in 15 years’ time and it’ll be insane.
Stuart: In your view, Jimmy, how safe are statin drugs?
Jimmy: In my view, my personal view, I think they’re probably the most insidious thing you could possibly put in your mouth as a drug. If you’ve had a cardiovascular event, there’s been some research that says maybe, just maybe, you’re able to stave off another one but I don’t think it’s necessarily the cholesterol lowering that it does. They’re now saying “Oil! We never meant for it to be the cholesterol-lowering effects. It’s the anti-inflammatory effects of statin, so you know, the jury’s still out from a standpoint of whether they’re safe or not for those people, but they’ve never been tested on women in large-scale studies, they’ve never been tested on guys like us, who are very healthy and maybe have cholesterol levels high. We just don’t know what the effects are and the biggest problem is all the people that go on these statin drugs, and my father-in-law’s one of them, all these people go on them and then they start getting all these effects that mimic aging and they’re not aging at all. So it’s sad.
Stuart: So if somebody was prescribed a statin drug, obviously through the doctor, what would your advice be to them?
Jimmy: Well, certainly that’s a patient’s decision and one thing we tried to do in this book is: You are in control of your health. Stop advocating your responsibility to the man in the white coat to tell you what to do about your health. Do your own research, listen to podcasts like this one you’re listening to now. You know, go out there and Google information. There’s so much information out there, learn, learn and never stop learning.
So I know one of my experts in the book said, “Hey, why don’t you help the doctor out? Take that statin drug prescription and then never fill it. I mean, just because you take it doesn’t mean you have to go down to the pharmacy and fill that prescription. You take it, then you allow that doctor to do his due diligence. He was able to say, “You know what, insurance company? I wrote the script, the patient took the script, now you can go eat a paleo, low-carb diet after that and improve your numbers that way, and never take the script. In fact, I get emails like that all the time, you guys, from people that say, “You know, hey, I got that script, I threw it away, went and did paleo, went back and they’re like ‘Wow that Lipitor did really good!’ I never took the Lipitor.”
Stuart: Well, I’ve got my—
Jimmy: Those kinds of things are going to change people’s minds.
Stuart: Completely. And I’ve got a little bit of a story where my father was prescribed a statin drug and he took the statin drug for six months and did start to feel…didn’t feel right. He had all of these crazy side effects so I started digging deep on the internet and I stumbled across a movie called Statin Nation.
Jimmy: Yes, Justin Smith. Yep.
Stuart That’s right. And purchased it, watched it, sent it over to him in the UK. He watched it and of course that raised alarm bells, yeah, in his mind and then he took that DVD to the doctor and the doctor said “Right, we’ll stop your script for now, I’m gonna watch this.” And he, and that’s it, he’s off the statins. He’s feeling better.
Stuart: Yeah and I just think there’s a message there.
Guy: Did you get any feedback from the doctor, Stu? Do you know?
Stuart: The doctor said that he was gonna pass it on and you know, in his circle of associates. And take it to them.
Jimmy: You know what’s ironic about that? You found out about it there in Australia, the film was made in the UK and you sent it to somebody in the UK. Of course that might have helped him kind of connect with it, because all the accents in there was British.
Stuart: Yeah, but it’s just, it’s frightening. But yeah, great, huge resource. Just dig deep, do your own, do a little research of your own. Everyone’s different.
Guy: We’ve spoke about as well, cuz I know it’ll back to food. We spoke about the foods that we should be eliminating, especially the hydrogenated oils. Vegetable oils. Some grains, bread, you know, things that spike your blood sugars. What food do you encourage then to start eating?
Jimmy: Oh, this is the fun part. Saturated fat is your friend, so things like butter, coconut oil, lard. You guys in Australia, you don’t realize how privileged you are to have some great monounsaturated sources like avocados. I mean, they’re everywhere, avos are everywhere in Australia. I’m so jealous.
Stuart: I had one this morning.
Guy: We live off them. We live off them.
Jimmy: And the other thing that you live off of that’s extremely high in fat that’s very healthy for you is macadamia nut oil and macadamia nuts.
Stuart: Is that hard to get over there, is it?
Jimmy: It is an extremely expensive, they’re imported from Hawai’i. So you guys have them right there and I remember when I was in Australia last year, we went to some farmer’s market or something and they had a big package of ’em and it was like, what was it, Christine? It was like $10 for this humongous package and we get like a little bitty jar and it’s like $8.99 here in America.
Stuart: Yeah, they’re so good. Absolutely.
Jimmy: So healthy.
Stuart: Aussies in general are stereotypically, reasonably big drinkers. So on the subject of alcohol, where does that sit for healthy heart, you know, cholesterol, overall health. I mean we, everybody thinks, “Oh, red wine, drink your red wine,” but what are your thoughts?
Jimmy: And certainly red wine, if you’re gonna drink something, red wine is probably, you’re gonna have maybe one to two glasses. One of my experts, Paul Jaminet, said, “That’s a good way to raise your HDL.” So it’s not totally off-limits for you drinkers, you Aussie drinkers. I’m not a drinker normally. I’ll have one every once in a while, but it’s extremely rare, so I don’t have personal experience with “I really like to drink.” Definitely not beer, cuz that’s got the hops which is the wheat. So you stay away from that, and then Robb Wolf is all about the North Cal Margarita, so you get some tequila and mix it with a lime and a little bit of soda water and that kind of thing. So if you’re gonna have alcohol, just know it’s gonna have an effect on your blood sugar in excess. So that’s where I’m not a fan of the term ‘moderation’, I think that’s a bogus diet term that’s been put out there. But when it comes to alcohol it’s probably a good term.
Guy: Yeah, okay, good advice. And what, could you give us an example, Jimmy, of what you ate, say today? Just for…
Jimmy: Today was kind of weird day because I took my wife Christine out. Do you guys have a Brazilian steakhouse type places there?
Stuart: Yeah. We kind of have meat on a stick, all you can eat.
Jimmy: Yeah, they bring the meat out on the stick and they keep comin’ and keep comin’ until you tell them to stop. I did that for dinner. We do that, this is my date night, this is Friday night so I, so spending my date night with you guys. Hey! But we went to one of those places and we just got lots of really great meat and I loaded up this salad plate with butter and mozzarella cheese. So I take a bite of butter, a bite of mozzarella cheese and then stick it on the fork with a piece of meat, stick that in my mouth and ahhhh. So that’s kind of an atypical, I don’t usually eat like that every day.
If I eat during the day it’s usually about one to two meals a day. It’s extremely high in fat, mostly saturated fat. So for example, yesterday, about midday, I had five pastured eggs from a local farmer, cooked in some grass-fed butter, Kerrygold butter. I’ll sometimes cook it in coconut oil as well, just kind of get a few MCTs in there. Then I’ll melt some raw cheese on top of that and then have some sauerkraut on top of that, some sour cream on top of that and sometimes I’ll have an avocado on the side with that. As you can see, very, very high in fat. Very moderated in protein and virtually zero carbs. About the only carbs are in the sauerkraut and the avocados, so.
And I can go 8, 10, 12, sometimes even 24 hours between meals when you eat a meal that way. And my blood sugar stays stable, I measure my blood ketone levels, which we can talk about if you want to. All of those things mean I’m burning great fat. I think the last time you saw me, Guy, I was about maybe 15-17 kilos more than than I am now.
Jimmy: So I’ve lost even a little bit more. And I’ve tried to be a little more weight-stable because the active weight loss does mess with your cholesterol levels. I’m curious to see where my cholesterol will kind of level out at. So I’m trying to stay weight stable right now just to kind of see that but then I’m hot and heavy back at it again.
Stuart: Have you remained in ketosis since the last thing?
Jimmy: Yeah. In fact, I just measured just before it was one hour postprandial after that Brazilian barbecue place, that steakhouse place, and I measured my, what was my blood sugar one hour after eating, was 94, which is really good. It was in the 70s before we left, which is pretty low, pretty good. And then my blood ketone level was 1.2, which is in nutritional ketosis. So. It’s beautiful, I mean I love testing, I love kinda being a guinea pig for all this and sharing the information with other people. Not that I think everybody needs to test as much as Jimmy Moore does, but hopefully as my testing gives people good information about actionable things that they can do in their own routine.
Stuart: Yeah, absolutely. I urge anyone to check your blog to, because you’ve been documenting the whole journey for a little bit unsure.
Guy: How frequently do you think we should be getting our bloods done? Is it, like a dental checkup every six months?
Jimmy: Are you talking about like your cholesterol?
Guy: Yeah. General, kinda, yeah.
Jimmy: Yeah. I think if you do it a couple times a year, that’s probably good. I mean and keep in mind, don’t do it in the midst of like stress time in your life. Don’t do it in the midst of a weight loss. Don’t do it if you’ve got bad teeth pain like I had. Cuz that’s all gonna skew the numbers. Wait until you’re weight-stable, wait until your life has kinda calmed down a little bit. You know, wait until you’re kinda dialed in with your diet a bit. If you haven’t gotten the carbs and the oils under control you gotta do that right now. Don’t even think about getting your numbers run unless you just wanna know how bad they are before you start. And see how good they get doing this, but you’re really, yeah I think that a couple times a year is gonna be more than enough. And the bottom line is don’t obsess about the numbers. I think that’s what’s gotten us into trouble to begin with. I think we’ve gotten so obsessed about what’s your cholesterol, what’s your cholesterol, what’s your cholesterol, that people forget how do you feel? How is everything how you’re moving and how you look and perform and all these things? I think that’s a lot more interesting to me than knowing that I have a total cholesterol of 306.
Stuart: Yeah. That is spot on, actually. Y’know, if you feel fantastic and you’re doing immensely, it tells you the numbers are wrong. I don’ think you need to panic instantly, you know?
Stuart: Absolutely. Look, I just checked the time. We’ve got a couple of wrap-up questions for you as well, Jimmy.
Stuart: So if somebody’s just listened to this podcast, their cholesterol’s all high, they might be on statins and they go “Holy shit,” if you could offer one piece of advice to improve your health from this point, what would it be for that one person. What’s the first thing they should do?
Jimmy: Yeah, I mean, if you’re spiking insulin and blood sugar, you gotta get that under control, so got get that glucometer. You can go down to the pharmacy right now. You might even be driving in your car, you might be in the gym. Wherever you are, go get a glucometer because that’s gonna tell the tale. You got to get that blood sugar down and if you get the blood sugar down, guess what happens when you do that? You have better insulin sensitivity, your triglycerides will come down because the way you get your blood sugar down is cutting your carbs, your HDL will go up if you’re eating those healthy fats and stop fearing fat. I mean, that’s the message I want to get out there loud and clear: saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, they are not the enemy, they are not gonna clog your arteries. We dispel all those myths in my book. Go eat the fat. Eat fat and be merry because fat is where it’s at.
Guy: Make a great T-shirt.
Jimmy: I’m gonna wear that sometime. Fat is where it’s at.
Stuart: Absolutely. All right, and this is one question we ask on every podcast, Jimmy.
Stuart: What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? And that can be anything. Doesn’t have to be health related.
Jimmy: The best advice I’ve ever been given and I’ve passed it on to everybody that I come into contact with is be authentically you. Because once you stop being you, you’re no longer you and you’re being somebody else and how can you possibly in this world influence other people if you’re not being you. You, warts and all, I mean, I get criticisms for being me, y’know, cuz I try to live my life, y’know openly, I try to be very honest and integrity in everything that I do. If people would just do that, man, how much more could we change this world if people just started being authentic in who they actually are rather than putting on some face that says “Ooh, this is me, this is who I am” when it’s nothing of the sort.
Guy: Fantastic. I like it.
Stuart: So true. So for everybody out here in Australia, how can we get more of Jimmy Moore? And where can we find your great book?
Jimmy: Get more Moore? I love it. So you want my website, is that what you’re asking for?
Stuart: Yeah! Where should we go? So people can connect with your messages?
Jimmy: Yeah, so if you Google my name, Jimmy Moore, you should find on the whole front first page is like all of my stuff, but I have a website “Livinglavidalowcarb.com” and on there it has literally everything about what I’m doing. If you’re interesting in Cholesterol Clarity it is coming out. It just, in a few days here in Australia, and it’s at CholesterolClarity.com if you wanna kinda learn more information. We got a free sample chapter there. We’ve got other interview that’s I’ve done. You referenced the Abel James one, that’s in my media page. We’ve got a video that kinda tells a little bit about the book, but it’s literally anywhere books are sold there in Australia, you should be able to pick it up.
Stuart: Awesome. Jimmy, I’ve learned so much today on cholesterol level. It’s awesome.
Jimmy: Woohoo. Mission accomplished, my friend.
Stuart: Absolutely. We’ll spread the word.
Stuart: Thank you for your time, mate. That was brilliant and yeah. Hopefully we’ll get to see you when you come to Australia.
Jimmy: Oh, for sure. That’s definitely gonna happen.
Stuart: Thank you so much, Jimmy and enjoy the rest of date night.
Jimmy: Thank you, yes, my wife is like “Okay, can we get on with date night already?”
Stuart: Yeah, let’s wrap this up.
Jimmy: Thank you so much. Take care.
Stuart: You too. Thank, Jimmy.
Guy: Thanks, Jimmy.