How does the 40-30-30 diet affect one’s lipid profile?

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Dr. Phil Maffetone

February 15, 1996

I’m always hungry. How can I stop feeling hungry?
I’d like to know more about this 40-30-30 diet
How does the 40-30-30 diet affect one’s lipid profile?
Should food and fluid intake during competition be 40-30-30 as well?
How would a higher-fat diet affect my body’s response to exercise?
How come I never feel like I’m getting enough food?

How does the 40-30-30 diet affect one’s lipid profile?
Question:Dr. Maffetone,

I have been following the arguments for the 40-30-30 diet with a lot of interest, but I haven’t seen a discussion of how this diet affects your lipid profile. Specifically, how does it affect the LDL and HDL in your blood, your total cholesterol, and your triglyceride level? For the past few years I have been following a high-carbohydrate, low-fat (10 percent) diet, but my blood
profile shows triglycerides at a level of about 220, an HDL of 30, and total cholesterol of 190. Would a 40-30-30 diet help me raise my HDL levels and lower the triglycerides?


Dr. Maffetone: Maurice, even though your cholesterol seems to be good at 190, your ratio (total cholesterol divided by the HDL) is 6.3, which is a very high-risk number. That combined with a 220 triglyceride should set off a red light.

I can’t tell you if any dietary change would help, but I will tell you of the experiences I’ve had with many patients whose cholesterol and triglycerides were too high. Finding the proper ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats usually improves the condition.

A 40-30-30 ratio may be a good starting point for you. Just be sure that the fats you eat are mostly the “good” type: unsaturated (especially monounsaturated) oils such as olive and canola, as well as foods containing them (almonds, cashews, peanut butter, etc.).

Whole eggs, wine, olive oil, and easy aerobic exercise have also been shown to increase your “good” cholesterol (which lowers your ratio).

When triglyceride levels increase, I suspect that too much carbohydrate is converted to fats, in the form of triglycerides.

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