Cholesterol

    CHOLESTEROL : THE 411

    CHOLESTEROL : THE 411 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

    You’ve probably heard that cholesterol is bad for you and that is causes heart disease, you’ve probably also heard that Americans have the highest cholesterol in the world. While high Cholesterol levels can cause heart disease there are other contributing factors that should be evaluated prior to jumping on cholesterol-lowering medications.

    Cholesterol is not bad for you. Cholesterol is a highly complicated (and highly misunderstood) molecule that plays a very important role in our body. For many years medical professionals believed cholesterol and fat to be the primary promoters of heart disease which we now know, with data provided from studies by cardiologist, Dr Stephen Sinatra and Dr Jonny Bowden, PhD, is not the case. With newfound information and the science to match we now know our efforts are better focused targeting culprits such as inflammation, oxidative damage, stress and sugar. The complete medical research has been published and peer reviewed in “The Great Cholesterol Myth”.

    Your Body Needs Cholesterol

    The body needs cholesterol to function. Your immune system needs it to stay strong and the brain needs it to maintain cognitive function. Did you know that one of the side effects of cholesterol-lowering medication is memory loss? Cholesterol-lowering medication is over-prescribed and can be a serious detriment. Listed below are a few side effects cholesterol lowering medication may have:

    • Mitochondrial damage
    • Type 2 Diabetes
    • Muscle pain, damage and pain
    • Neurological problems

    Cholesterol is found in literally every cell in the human body. We need it. The body needs it. The body is literally incapable of making hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone or carry out cell function without Cholesterol. It’s also essential in producing vitamin D which keeps your bones healthy, improves cardiovascular function, protects against cancer and fights off infections.

    Sugar strikes again!
    Again, while Cholesterol can cause heart disease, generally speaking — it’s the wrong target. “Trying to prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to reduce calories by taking the lettuce off your hamburger,” says Jonny Bowden. In America we continue to operate under that notion that fat and cholesterol is bad for you and end up counting calories and/or eliminating or substituting essential foods for sugar! Soft drinks, breads, candy, sweets, fast food, etc. — while some of the items listed above may have fewer calories, they have virtually zero nutritional value causing more harm than good. A very vicious cycle really. If you missed my blog on sugar, click here to for “Tips on maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance.”

    Genetics
    While genetics play a role in Cholesterol your lifestyle and diet play a more important role. In fact, about 50% of people diagnosed with high cholesterol have healthy hearts. So rather than panic and start medicating (because this is the approach most commonly in effect) we recommend eliminating the root causes for inflammation. This can be done by balancing your diet and making better choices.

    High Cholesterol is Preventable
    By adding a few items to your diet and removing others, you can prevent and stabilize cholesterol levels.

    • Add legumes and beans such as mung, aduki, black, garbanzo, lentils and tempeh
    • Add Gluten-free grains such as quinoa, millet, amaranth, brown rice and buckwheat
    • Add fresh vegetables, dark leafy greens should become your best friends
    • Add fresh fruit such as organic berries and citrus for its high antioxidants and vitamin C content
    • Add spices such as cinnamon and turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties
    • Add fish such as wild coldwater fish like salmon, tuna, herring and mackerel
    • Add meats from animals that ate grass
    • Add good fats such as avocado, raw nuts and seeds, ghee, grass-fed raw butter and coconut oil
    • Avoid all trans-fats and hydrogenated oils. Check labels for “hydrogenated” and avoid it at all cost
    • Avoid high-sugar foods such as breakfast cereals, candy, cookies and processed desserts
    • Avoid Fried foods #sorrynotsorry
    • Avoid or reduce pasteurized dairy products
    • Replace iodized salt with sea salt
    • Avoid excessive coffee intake. (you know if I’m talking to you)
    • Avoid smoking

    …and the list can go on! But let’s start there. Another misconception is eggs are evil. Follow my blog and look out for an upcoming post called “Eggs and Cholesterol – How evil are they?”

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