Is Elevated Cholesterol Bad? Not Necessarily!

This Podcast Burns Fat, Dave Feldman, Nick Norwitz

Why the Keto Diet Can Raise Cholesterol

Lipids and Materials: A Question of Transport


Notable Quotes

“The Lipid Energy Model, from a fifty-thousand-foot view, is really a story about transportation, but it’s also a story about busyness. There’s just a lot more activity, there’s a lot more transporting that has to go on if you’re powered more by fat, especially if you’re a lot healthier or a lot leaner, that we would posit that you need a lot more of that trafficking to happen…that’s why we believe there’s a higher detectable level of cholesterol is basically, what you’re doing is you’re detecting more of the boats, really more of the cholesterol that was ridesharing with the fats that you’re powered by.”

Dave Feldman

“Looking at things in context matters. I think it’s very problematic to just take one little isolated number—it might even be calculated and not directly measured—and try to make a clinical judgment just from that. You have to take in the context of the patient, history of the patient, and all the other markers, their dietary context. It’s complicated and should be complicated. And to simplify it down, I think, is to the disservice of the science and the medicine.”

Nick Norwitz


Episode Summary

When we hear about elevated cholesterol levels, the first thing that would probably come to mind are alarm bells going off, telling us to do what we can to lower them as soon as we can. But what if elevated cholesterol levels don’t have to mean a bad thing right away?

In this episode of This Podcast Burns Fat, we’re talking to the minds behind the Lipid Energy Model, Dave Feldman and Nick Norwitz to walk us through the role of lipids in our bodies and how an elevated lipid panel isn’t necessarily an immediate cause for panic.


Relevant Links

Cholesterol Code Website

Lean Mass Hyper-Responder Facebook Group

Dave FeldmanTwitter

Nick NorwitzTwitter


In this Episode of This Podcast Burns Fat!

  • Omar and Lori introduce the episode’s guests, Dave Feldman & Nick Norwitz (01:51)
  • Dave Feldman, what he does, and what he’s passionate about (06:41)
  • Nick Norwitz, who he is, and how he came to study the Lipid Energy Model (07:48)
  • What should we be looking at with our cholesterol levels? (09:42)
    • Putting a value judgment on cholesterol and putting it into context (14:20)
  • Describing the lipid panels, cholesterol, HDLs, and LDLs (18:28)
    • Two classes of boats that carry materials through our bloodstream (22:27)
  • Why do lean people see an increase in LDL? (24:32)
    • More engaged adipocytes in a fat-fueled diet (27:44)
  • What a lipid panel of an overweight person would look like (29:18)
  • Does saturated fat increase LDL? (30:50)
  • What happened with the white bread experiment (33:43)
  • Therapeutic sweet potato diet in a cohort study (38:33)
  • Does the gut microbiome have anything to do with cholesterol levels? (40:44)
    • Direct and indirect effects of the gut microbiome on cholesterol levels (44:24)
  • Is there such a thing as too high cholesterol? (46:00)
    • Lean Mass Hyper-Responders Group (49:40)
  • Some lipid markers that we can say are unequivocally “bad” (52:14)
  • The role of sugar in plaque buildup in arteries (57:23)
  • Testing the cholesterol levels of those eating saturated fats (01:01:48)
  • Where to find and read Dave Feldman and Nick Norwitz’s published papers (01:04:00)


Don’t forget to check out!

The Art of Sugar-free Cooking: Recipes for Healthy Living by Omar Cumberbatch

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