The Cholesterol Myth
High Cholesterol, low cholesterol, good cholesterol, bad cholesterol... it’s all bunk! There are many misconceptions and myths about cholesterol you need to know. If you are one of the millions of people who have been warned about the dangers of high cholesterol and heart disease, keep reading for some shocking new insight.
First and foremost, a few facts about this important substance:
- Cholesterol is responsible for brain synapses (communication between nerve cells)
- Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol by action of sunlight on skin (vitamin D is essential for bone health and protects against cancer)
- Cholesterol is needed for absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K
- Cholesterol repairs cells - “Cholesterol is being transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory response that is there to repair damage.” (1)
- “Low-fat, low-cholesterol diets can be very unhealthy, especially for women. All our major hormones are made from cholesterol: estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, DHEA, and testosterone. If we don’t eat enough, our bodies divert cholesterol from our endocrine system to use for brain function and repair. When that happens, it’s almost impossible for our bodies to maintain hormonal balance.” (2)
The bottom line; cholesterol is imperative to good health and our liver manufactures it as needed. Our body increases cholesterol as a reaction to inflammation and stress. This is a normal response. Our body is brilliant and is naturally self-protective. Who ever created the human body and its miraculous functions is a super-genius. I’m just sayin’…
By implicating cholesterol as the culprit (as medical science and the pharmaceutical companies would have us erroneously believe) and taking statin drugs to lower our levels, we inevitably set the body up for failure.
Some nasty side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs (statins) include: nausea, hostility, depression, loss of mental clarity, amnesia and early onset senility (3), kidney failure, diarrhea, cramping in the legs, sleep disorders, constipation, erectile dysfunction (total bummer!), liver damage, destruction of CoQ10, and muscle degeneration. Egads! With a list like that I would never put statin drugs inside my body.
Contrary to popular belief high cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. Many recent studies indicate stress, bacterial infection and poor immunity as more probable causes (4) (5) (6). Preventing heart disease is not about lowering cholesterol - cholesterol protects us, for goshsakes! A better way to support heart health is to reduce or eliminate foods that can contribute to stress, poor immunity and overgrowth of bacteria. Some common offenders:
- Sugar increases stress hormone and feeds bacteria (7)
- Excess caffeine increases stress hormone (8)
- Eating sick and diseased animals living a stressed out life (factory farmed)
- Consuming pesticide laden foods that damage the immune, reproductive and endocrine systems (9)
- Chemicals and preservatives found in many packaged foods
- Highly refined foods and excess refined carbohydrates
Reducing the risk of heart disease can be easy and delicious by choosing wholesome foods straight from the earth, naturally and ethically raised, without chemicals or preservatives. Foods to include in the diet: whole grains, beans, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fruits, good fats, animals and animal products, including the much maligned egg and butter. We beat the crap out of the poor little egg and butter back in the 1970’s when medical science recommended reducing saturated fat and cholesterol for heart health. Today we know butter is better than margarine (hydrogenated fat) and many of the best nutrients reside in the infamous egg yolk (lutein, lecithin, vitamins A& D). Just thinking about suffering through all those years of butter-less pancakes and yolkless egg white omelets makes me want to slap someone silly!
Besides proper nutrition and daily exercise, the heart needs emotional healing. It’s important to practice forgiveness and compassion. I’m practicing both of those emotions with regards to pharmaceutical companies and doctors prescribing harmful prescription medications. They can’t possibly understand the ramifications of their actions. Can they? And, lastly… we need to give and receive love as often as possible. As a matter of fact, I am sending everyone who has read all the way through this month’s topic a big, loving, cyber HUG!
Now get your cute buns into the kitchen and cook up this month’s heart healthy meal.
For more delicious recipes pick up The Whole Truth Eating and Recipe Guide