Healthy food for lowering cholesteorlSince 1984, when the medical established recognized high cholesterol as a risk fact in heard disease, there has been concern about dealing with cholesterol levels.  Most people are not even aware of what cholesterol is and that cholesterol is essential to life.

It’s not that that high cholesterol didn’t exist before that time, it did.  In fact, people were dying of heart attacks
at much younger ages than they do now.  Before, after the age of 40 or so, certain families were susceptible to heart attacks.  Now, you hear less and less of people under the age of 50 suffering heart problems/stroke basically because education and regular screening of risk factors.

Since the connection of high cholesterol to heart disease was established, focus on getting cholesterol levels down by hook or by crook seemed to be the first priority and line of defense in heart disease.  Statins were developed and the problem seemed to have been solved.  Statins both lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.

However, more research discovered that the improvement in overall mortality was small, even though heart disease was reduced.  What did that really mean?

To me, I’d interpret it in one of two ways: either the statin is improving one biochemical system at the expense of the other or lifestyle changes weren’t profound enough to improve health (or both).

We are only just beginning to understand cholesterol’s role in the body:  it was known that cholesterol was a precursor to steroid hormones and that it played an important role in bile production.  However, it wasn’t quite completely known how cholesterol responded to inflammation until recently.

Now we know that the liver produces ldl or “bad” cholesterol (only named bad because too much of a good thing spells trouble) when inflammation occurs in the body to surround it, like a bandage.  When the inflammation is cooled, hdl or good cholesterol, goes out to scavange the deposited ldl cholesterol, basically cleans it up.  So, ldl cholesterol that’s been deposited in our blood vessels can be cleared out.

Cholesterol is essential to life

In other words, there has not been enough information regarding the biochemistry surrounding how cholesterol works in our system or wreaks havoc in our bodies…..More at Controlling the cholesterol phenomenon

The key to controlling cholesterol is not by suppressing it artificially but by controlling the inflammation, which we know is caused by several factors: smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity, transfats and other artificial foods, excessive intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates, lack of adequate rest, stress, allergies, and hypothyroidism, to name a few.

These are factors we have some control over.  The above quoted article states that diet can only reduced cholesterol by 20%.  Further reductions are needed with medication.  This is not correct.  I’ve personally witnessed much higher reductions, including my own, by lifestyle and diet changes.

Furthermore, I don’t believe that God or nature intended us to be naturally unhealthy or that we required chemicals to stay healthy.  There are a few unlucky exceptions but in general control is in our hands. But even cholesterol is reduced by only 20%, which is a great deal:

Studies have shown that for every 1% that you raise your HDL cholesterol, there’s a 2-3% reduction in cardiovascular risk for heart attacks and strokes.

This means, a 20% reduction will reduce risk by 40%.  Who wouldn’t want to increase odds like that?

So, in summary, cholesterol is not a bad thing.  It is tied to the behaviors and situations in our bodies that will cause us long term damage or wearing out our bodies early.  The behaviors we carry on, even at an early age, will cause it to rise unduly.

Getting rid of it without getting to the bottom of the cause is like cutting the wires to your dashboard warning lights.  Cholesterol is essential to life and we shouldn’t fear it but have it signal us that we need to do better by our health.

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