The following "features/benefits" matrix, represents qualitative risk estimate of heart disease versus total blood cholesterol level (vertically), and versus diet (horizontal). In each cell a value 0(no risk) to 5(very high), would represent a qualitalive heart disease risk based on a subjective estimate. It would probably look like this:
|TotChol||V.low fat vegan||med.fat low sugar||med-hi fat hi sugar||hi fat lo carb|
This is my conjecture/guesswork based on my my medical literature study. This was constructed as an aid in a discussion with my forum friends. This is not a scientific data, PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THIS! The numbers are subjective reflecting my belief in the reality rather than the reality itself. They are intended only to illustrate a trend rather than to quantify it.
Please note that I do not believe that the cholesterol level is a causual factor (i.e. causing disease), I believe that it is just a marker thus too high or too low a level may indicate that something else is wrong with the endocrine system, and that "something else" may be contributing to a heart disease.
I do not separate medium fat low sugar from medium fat vegetarian low sugar because I do not believe that vegetarianism per se matters. Rather, I focus on the dietary sugar contents. In my table, the Standard American (and European) Diet would be in the medium-high fat (35-45% calories) high sugar (>10% calories) column. I follow a convention where "very low fat" means about 10%, "low fat" 20% and "medium fat " 30%, High cholesterol is about 250mg/dl or higher, low cholesterol is about 150mg/dl or lower.
I think that rather than asking ourselves "How much fat?", "What fat?", or "what cholesterol?" we should be asking ourselves how much sugar is still safe to eat?.