I have heard the warnings, myths and “consequences” of high cholesterol for over twenty years. It’s about time we took control of our health, and take a good look at the facts, now that so much time has passed. Is cholesterol really as bad as doctors say? Or are they just trained to give us a pill (with awful side effects and costs… I could do a whole blog on the dangers of statins)? You decide for yourself.
The Myths about cholesterol:
Egg yolks are bad! I remember when the news came out and I was forced to order flavorless egg-white omelets for an extra three dollars. The statistics are in and have busted this myth. I’m back to my whole egg and especially love the eggs produced by my local farms free roaming chickens. Instead of fearing eggs, focus should be on reducing intake of high inflammatory foods that disturb the natural balance and use of different cholesterols in the body. These include things like sugary treats, fried foods, processed meats or refined oils.
Saturated fats are bad! There is absolutely no correlation between saturated fat and heart disease, as two major studies have recently confirmed. The biggest issue for the body in terms of fats is from where they come. Raw fats from a healthy natural diet are good! Your body needs these in order to thrive. They even help reduce heart disease. Artificial and chemically induced fats from processed food are to be avoided at all times. Great sources of healthy fats include nuts, wild fish, wild and grass-fed meats, seeds (such as chia and flaxseeds), avocados, organic free-range eggs, olive oil and coconut oil.
Cholesterol is bad and causes heart attacks! Yet look at all the reasons we need it:
Cholesterol is the body’s repair substance: scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol, including scar tissue in the arteries.
Cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D, necessary for numerous biochemical processes including mineral metabolism.
Cholesterol also functions as a powerful antioxidant, thus protecting us against cancer and aging.
Cholesterol is vital to proper neurological function. It plays a key role in the formation of memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical. See? Feeling good IS a symptom.
Cholesterol is the precursor to all the hormones produced in the adrenal cortex.
Cholesterol acts as a critical brain nutrient essential to the function of neurons. Cholesterol is used as a source of fuel or energy, since neurons cannot themselves generate significant amounts.
Cholesterol plays a role in building cellular membranes and the communication network of nerves.
Cholesterol helps to deliver nutrients to the brain from the bloodstream via the carrier protein called LDL (or low-density lipoprotein).
The risk for heart attack or stroke comes from many factors, one being oxidized or damaged cholesterol particles. Causes of damage include a poor diet, inactivity, diabetes, hypertension, stress, and hypothyroidism.
We should not be scared of an elevated total number but be educated on what our cholesterol is up to in the body. By doing a simple test (offered at our office) we can see if there is cause for concern or no concern at all. If it shows there is the need to reduce your cholesterol as well as oxidative stress, we can work with each patient nutritionally, with supplement and with acupuncture to regain your health and manage cholesterol naturally. Come in and see us!
**Please keep an eye out for posts and emails with information on our upcoming seminar that will dive deeper into the myths of cholesterol.