Whenever a medico talks to you about heart disease, they put you through a risk factor calculator. A key factor is family history of cardiac problems. This has bothered me because you might merely inherit your parent’s bad diet/exercise/smoking habits, rather than possess a genetic problem handed down.

Well, I’m a bit wiser now. My first bloods since the August scare included, on the insistence of Dr Mackay, my “second doctor,” something called Lp(a). Lipoprotein(a), that is. I had no clue what it meant until he wised me up. 10-20% of the population has this marker, which indicates the presence in arteries of another sticky protein like “bad” LDL. It’s genetic and can’t be “fixed” with diet/exercise/etc. or with any pills.

As Dr Mackay put it, once you know you have a high Lp(a), you need to “tick all the boxes”: keep yourself lean; lower your blood pressure; exercise; avoid dairy/eggs (let alone meat); and get your LDL down to below 2 mmol/L. This new WFPB diet is an attempt to do just that.

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