10 Reasons You Need Cholesterol

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10 Reasons You Need Cholesterol

It was not until the mid 20th century that Americans started to fear saturated fat and cholesterol. Our grandparents ate lots of meat and butter, and they were pretty robust. In the early 1900’s most Americans had a hard time keeping weight on, while heart disease was almost non-existent. Compare that to the present day, where people are obsessed with low-fat diets and cutting cholesterol with little to show for it. This fat and cholesterol phobia has contributed to a national obesity rate of 35%, where one-third of all deaths are blamed on heart disease. Something just doesn’t add up…

Where did this fat phobia come from?

Dr. Ancel Keys performed research in the 1950’s, where he proposed that countries with a higher intake of saturated fat and cholesterol have increased rates of heart disease. The Seven Countries study had a lot academic critics, but it caught on like wildfire and was adopted by the public. What no one, including the US government and the American Heart Association, took into account was that he had left out data from the other 15 countries he surveyed, making his results useless. Our fear of saturated fat and cholesterol is based on a flawed study! You can read more about that here.

10 Reasons You Need Cholesterol

During the past 50 years this fear of fat has taken hold, and rates of heart disease and obesity have skyrocketed, with no end in sight. Cholesterol is a natural healing substance that has many vital functions in the human body. If you are worried about cholesterol levels from a high fat diet, here are some reasons to put your mind at ease:

  1. Cholesterol is a vital structural component of every human cell membrane and it aids in communication between cells. It’s a necessary component in making new, healthy cells, and it gives us the ability to heal from illness or injury.
  2. Cholesterol helps reduce bloating by regulating the salt and water balance in the body.
  3. Cholesterol is converted into bile in the liver, which helps us to digest fats. Many people who have been on a low-fat diet will have trouble with fat digestion.
  4. You need cholesterol to make adrenal hormones, cortisol, and aldosterone, which help us cope with the stress of day-to-day living. A low-fat diet often does not supply enough substrate to make these hormones, which leads to adrenal fatigue, feelings of exhaustion, and belly fat storage.
  5. UVB rays from the sun interact with the cholesterol in your skin to convert it to vitamin D. Cholesterol helps the absorption of Vitamin D, which is vital for proper immune function.
  6. Many studies indicate that cholesterol may act as an antioxidant to heal free radial damage. The standard American diet (SAD) is full of oxidized vegetable oils and sugars, which are pro-oxidants. These non-foods wreak havoc on your cells and cause damage that contributes to heart disease. The body produces more cholesterol in response to these inflammatory foods in an attempt to heal the damage they cause in our blood vessels.
  7. Cholesterol helps in the formation of your memories and is crucial for proper neurological function. People with low HDL cholesterol can have impaired memory and are at an increased risk of developing dementia later in life.
  8. Elevated cholesterol is a sign that your body is making more to heal damaged cells. It is key to look for the true cause of the inflammation (ie: sugar, grains, vegetable oils), not kill the messenger by taking cholesterol medication with possibly dangerous side effects.
  9. Many times a high cholesterol test is your body trying to send you an important message, so listen up! Healing cholesterol is often produced in excess when there is a lack of thyroid hormone and/or there is an autoimmune thyroid attack. Normalizing thyroid hormone levels can help balance cholesterol levels, as well as following a lower carb nutrient dense diet.
  10. Cholesterol is very important for the communication between brain synapses, which make the feel good chemical serotonin. There have been many studies where people with abnormally low levels of cholesterol have tendencies toward violence or depression.

In Summary

Cholesterol is a building block for the steroid hormones which help control our moods, metabolism, inflammation, immune, and sexual functions. The human body needs cholesterol in order to function, and without it we would not survive. The liver will intuitively make more cholesterol when the diet does not provide enough.

Many studies have shown that low cholesterol is a bigger risk factor for heart disease and mortality than high cholesterol. Elderly people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack, when compared with elderly people with high cholesterol.

According to Dr. Mark Hyman, higher cholesterol predicts lower risk of death from heart disease.

When evaluating your own cholesterol levels do some critical thinking about what is best for you. Follow the money when your doctor advises you to take Statin drugs, and ask for some hard evidence on why they are recommending them for you.

Lifestyle interventions such as a low carb, Paleo diet can help people achieve optimal lipid panel markers, in a very short time, without any dangerous side effects. Use your best judgement when you hear how foods that kept our great grandparents healthy like grass-fed meat, raw cheese, and grass-fed butter, are to blame for new diseases.

Sources:

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Comments

  1. Richard Earl says

    Caitlin Weeks’ conclusions/suggestions seem to be in sync with those eloquently explained in the new book “The Great Cholesterol Myth” by Johnny Bowden, PH.D. and Stephen Sinatra, M.D. Cholesterol and saturated fat do NOT cause heart disease. The true culprits are “sugar, inflammation, stress and high-carb diets full of processed foods.”

    After more than 70 years of eating a diet full of starches and sugars (followed by copious amounts of TUMS and Malox so I could lie down at night) I stumbled upon information which convinced me to cut from my diet everything containing wheat, white rice, potatoes and added sugar. Result? Almost instantaneous relief from acid indigestion, extraordinary energy, a drop of 15 points off my blood pressure and the loss of over 70 pounds of flab in just one year. You couldn’t force me to go back on the standard “Western” diet at gunpoint. It’s pure poison and those who disagree just don’t know what they’re talking about… or stand to make money from perpetuating the myths and lies.

    • zoi says

      lovely said! i did the same thing you did and i am not missing my old lifestyle one bit! With every other diet i had tried, i could not wait for it to end so that i could eat normal again(low fat diets,carb diets with lots of deprivations) but i can say now that with low-car i am content, thinner and more happy :)

  2. says

    I am baffled by the ignorance of cholesterol among doctors. I had to educate my mother about cholesterol, with all her of medical school training. Shouldn’t she know more that I do, given that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist? Apparently not.

    I have seen other effective health programs independently come up with basically the same conclusions you did. Reams Biological Theory of Ionization RBTI also does not regard cholesterol as the cause behind heart disease. The cause is a number of factors, among them the ones in the references you provide, along with a number of others. Although no single factor exists to account for all heart problems, the most common pattern of heart disease is high conductivity, which results from salts not properly metabolized by the body. Another sign is dangerously high urea levels. due to improper digestion. One cause behind this improper functioning of the body is mineral deficiency from eating junk food and produce (organic included), meats (including grass fed), etc. grown on depleted soils, lacking the nutrition they had 70 years ago. Sadly, nearly all foods today have nowhere near the nutrition they need to have to prevent physical degeneration. Weston Price spoke of this as a major problem in his time in his famous book. Since then things have gotten much worse. See, for example, http://www.mineralresourcesint.co.uk/pdf/mineral_deplet.pdf.

    Another cause is not drinking enough water and the right type of water to eliminate these salts and toxic ureas, namely distilled water. Distilled water washes out the accumulations of salts and ureas so they can be properly excreted.

    I will disagree with the Paleo prescription on one important point. The experience of RBTI practitioners with people who have dangerously high ureas and have a heart disease pattern is they don’t respond well to high protein diet initially, especially with meats, fish and cheese.In fact, eating these foods makes things worse for them – that is how out of balance their body is. Please note I did not say anything about fat. They will be able to determine what types of protein and how much to consume based on RBTI principles and doing RBTI body chemistry tests so as to determine what is suitable for their unique body chemistry. They need to drink the distilled water to get them out of the dangerous urea zone and wash out the toxic urea form their body. Then, a paleo diet may well be the perfect diet to reverse the disease and generally better their health.

    References:
    1. Biological Ionization as Applied to Human Nutrition: Electrochemical Ideals for Nutritional-Health Analysis by Alexander Beddoe, DDS
    2. RBTI course taught by Michael Olszta.

  3. Holistic Kimberley says

    My mother in law had bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and her bowels weren’t good. And she was getting bad circulation problems in her hands. He wanted to put her on cholesterol meds. I told her NO!!

    I told her about how important bacon was (good nitrate free bacon) for our body. And to cook with the rendered fat. I told her don’t focus on eating egg whites, focus on egg yolks, organic egg yolks. Also grass fed butter instead of country crock. I made her throw that junk away.

    So it’s been about 2-3 months she’s followed my “diet” read labels to what she was eating. She has no more crazy menopause, hot flashing symptoms. And most importantly, no high cholesterol

  4. lawranch says

    While I agree with you that cholesterol is important and should not get too low, I do want to know where the research is that shows death from heart attacks was low before 1900. I can trace 7 generations back of heart attacks killing my ancestors, and see lots of historical evidence that my great grandparents were not unique. One issue with making claims that heart disease was not as prevalent in the past is that our methods of identifying heart disease have drastically changed in the past 30 years. I wonder, if we used the same standards we have today to measure heart disease in people 200 years ago, if the numbers would match better. I keep seeing these same statements repeated over and over on blog posts with no really substantive data to back up these claims. The science and methods have changed so much that it is really not concrete to make these claims about heart disease.

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