High Cholesterol: To lower or not to lower?

I remember my doctor saying to me… “Your cholesterol is too high, you will need to control it or we may need to talk about some medications.” Maybe some of you have had this conversation.  Should we really be lowering our cholesterol levels and how low can it go before it starts to affect our health?

Did you know that weight reduction alone lowers your cholesterol by about 10 per cent.

It is imperative that we understand the importance of cholesterol.  We need cholesterol in our body. So when our doctor is telling us to lower our cholesterol we really need to look carefully at the ramifications of this decision. We are shutting down the vital production of our hormones, fairly soon hormone imbalance will follow, leading to chronic degenerative diseases and may even lead to cancer.

Cholesterol is a substance that is found in every cell of your body. We need it to build cell walls, produce our hormones, produce vitamin D for our immune system and produce bile necessary for breaking down fat, even our brain needs cholesterol for proper nerve transmissions.  Almost everything needs cholesterol to function properly, so we shouldn’t start messing around with it without some proper research and not just because our doctor says so. He has not looked at the research he is relaying what the pharmaceutical agents are telling him about their research.

Our liver makes about 75% of our cholesterol, the rest come from the food we eat, meats, poultry, fish, egg, butter, cheese and milk. The more EFA (essential fatty acids) we eat, the less cholesterol our body needs to produce. Eat more if you want reduce production by your body naturally.

Plants do not contain cholesterol but they do have fiber, so we are able to control our cholesterol naturally just by eating more vegetables.

The standard explanation is that we have good cholesterol HDL that helps to prevent heart disease by removing excess plaque from sticking to artery walls. Bad cholesterol LDL has the opposite tendency to build up, forming plaque that narrows our arteries and makes them less flexible .  What we need to understand is that whether its good or bad there is only one cholesterol molecule in our body.  We are dependent on cholesterol for our brain, heart, lung, and so many other organs to function properly.

Our cholesterol must be transported around our body to where it is needed using proteins.   Small dense cholesterol particles can be a problem, because they can squeeze through the lining of the arteries and if they oxidize or turn rancid, they can cause damage and inflammation.

Triglycerides are also fats that make up cholesterol and are linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels rise from too many processed grains, too much sugars, lack of activity, smoking, excess alcohol and being overweight or obese.

It is a myth that a low fat, high carb diet is a healthy one, in fact white bread, sugars and any processed carb will raise our triglyceride and lower our cholesterol. Reduce these and you will lower your triglycerides and your overall cholesterol.

The bad fats are our transfats and polyunsaturates.  Our good fats are our Omega 3 fatty acids from cold water fish (EPA and DHA), nuts, with lots of good health benefits including  reducing blood triglycerides. These essential fatty acids help to make up our brains structure and are essential requirements for our brain to function optimally.

When we think of cholesterol hardening our arteries, what is really happening is free radicals are constantly attacking the lining of the arteries and causing constant injury, leaving cholesterol plaque deposits at the injury site. These plaque deposits continue to grow, and arteries that lead to the heart continue to get restricted.

As you know, we take fish oils as a source of Essential Fatty Acids. Foods rich in EFAs like avocados, flax, nuts, cold water fish, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines and chia seeds, these EFAs will

  • increase our cholesterol
  • decrease the risk of cancer
  • improve hormone balance and the production of hormones
  • improve blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
  • help us to maintain our ideal body weight
  • help maintain proper vision as we age
  • help to protect us from kidney failure
  • help maintain skin’s elasticity
  • help support proper lung function
  • help protect our intestinal walls from ulcers
  • help protect our heart against arrhythmias

    Mainstream doctors say, the reason to lower our cholesterol is that people with high cholesterol get more heart attacks than people with normal or low cholesterol. This is not so, we have seen tests that lowering our high cholesterol does not prevent heart attacks.

    Wow can you believe, 1 in 4 adults in America are on a statin drug. Trials for statin drugs were inconclusive in more than 40 trials performed to test if lowering our cholesterol can prevent a heart attack. The number of fatal heart attacks were lowered a little in some trials, and increased in other trials and in the end just as many died with high or low cholesterol.

    In the medical dept of UCLA, 137,000 patients from 541 hospitals in the US admitted for an acute heart attack, found their cholesterol was lower than normal when compared with the average. So again no evidence that lowering our cholesterol will prevent heart attacks.

    Total cholesterol does not show risk of heart disease.  What it does show is that having a cholesterol level under 220 mg/dL long term is a risk for alzheimer’s and other dementias.  Don’t let yourself be fooled into lowering your cholesterol using medications this is playing a dangerous game with your health and has widespread ramifications to all parts of your body.

Keep smiling and enjoy!
Pat Tucker, Health and Wellness Coach