I realize that this article might confuse you in fact, it might even frustrate you because what I’m about to tell you is something that challenges our current health paradigm. For years we’ve been told to watch our cholesterol, that eggs were the devil and that elevated LDL levels were not only dangerous but could increase our chances of developing heart disease. Statin drugs soon became the most widely prescribed drug to not only treat cholesterol but to prevent cardiovascular disease.
And guess what? I’m here to tell you that everything you think you know about cholesterol is totally wrong because believe it or not, we actually need it.
So allow me to present to you some startling facts & the REAL total cholesterol formula.
Cholesterol, Nerves & Emotional Stability
When you consider that 25% of the brain is made up of cholesterol this shouldn’t be a surprise. In fact it’s a huge part of the myelin coating around nerve cells allowing for quick transmission of information. So in other words if you’re a fat phobe and have bought into the cholesterol hype, you may find yourself exhibiting signs of a fried nervous system: being easily startled and sensitive to noise.
And let’s not forget that cholesterol is responsible for the creation of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which play a crucial role in our moods. In fact a Swedish study had reported that women who had low levels of cholesterol were more vulnerable to depressive symptoms.
Cholesterol & Hormone Production
Plus we require cholesterol as a precursor for hormones like estrogens, progesterone and testosterone. So gentlemen, head’s up! If you want to make sure that you’ve got enough soldiers swimming (meaning your sperm), have enough muscle mass and a kickin’ libido, then you’re not going to shy away from cholesterol-containing foods like eggs and butter.
And ladies, we’re not exempt here either because cholesterol will help to produce hormones that we need for reproduction. So if you’re trying to get pregnant and want to maintain a healthy balance on your hormones stop shying away from fat, it’s not your enemy but rather your baby-making ally.
And let’s face it who isn’t stressed these days? Well cholesterol is vital in producing corticosteroids the hormone that protects us from stress.
Cholesterol & Digestion
I am a big fan of healthy poops, because I believe that it is at the core of our health and without cholesterol this entire process would be impaired. You see, cholesterol helps to maintain the intestinal wall, protecting the body from inflammation. Plus without it, we wouldn’t be able to create bile salts, which responsible for the breakdown of fats, carbs and protein. So when it comes to digestion and assimilation, cholesterol is more important than ever.
Confused? I don’t blame you.
But here’s the thing: everything is cyclical and we need to start thinking of HDL and LDL like the yin and the yang – we need both. Plus normal LDL is buoyant and benign, rather than oxidized LDL is hard and small which can cause damage to arterial walls leading to cardiovascular disease. If this gives you a brain fart, ask yourself, what would you rather be hit with: A large squishy ball or a hard stone? What will cause more damage?
Cholesterol & Food
If you’ve tried in the past to reduce your cholesterol-containing foods and have failed to lower your cholesterol, you’re not alone. In fact, dietary cholesterol really has an insignificant effect on total blood HDL levels. However with that said, eggs for example has shown signs to reduce those small dense LDL particles that I mentioned earlier.
And sadly if we look at the Canada Food Guide (and Americans, your guide isn’t off the hook here either), our suggested recommended carb consumption has increased while so-call, “bad saturated fats” have decreased. Now I’m not suggesting that you completely eliminate carbs but at least be mindful of how much you’re having: a bagel at breakfast, sandwich at lunch, a plate of pasta for dinner? Seriously think about it. This can cause a lot of problems when you consider that it reduces your HDL and increases small, hard LDL that we know can actually increase cardiovascular disease.
And yes, I am telling you that saturated fats are actually good for you. So think coconut oil, butter, eggs, animal fats, chocolate and cashews as examples. Don’t believe me? Well consider this: Heart disease kills one in every three Canadians and is still on the top of disease killers other than cancer. So given our carb-loving government reinforced food guide, wouldn’t the excess carb consumption link to heart disease make sense?
In fact, the American of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis (which combines data from several studies) compared the reported daily food intake of nearly 350,000 people against their risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The analysis, supervised by Dr. Ronald M. Krauss, director of atherosclerosis research at the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute, discovered absolutely no link between the amount of saturated fat consumed and the risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol & Testing
By now you may feel like hopelessly throwing your statins up in the air like confetti. In fact this major health hoax might leave you wondering how on earth do we get tested? Can we test for those hard little LDL nuggets? Not exactly. But here’s what you can do instead:
Your sample is mixed into a solution that’s created to separate lipoproteins by density. Large particles float to the surface while the dense little bad boys sink. This test will test for your dominant LDL size after it has been stained and analyzed.
LDL-S3 GGE Test.
After the proteins from your blood are smeared along a gel palette, the gel becomes denser as the molecules move from one end to another. And your small, hard little LDL moves pretty damn fast versus your large particles of LDL, which moves slower. After submitting it to a lab, scientists will then determine the average size of your LDL particles.
Now there is no way shape or form am I telling you to simply go on a meat binge, because eating your vegetables (especially those greens), exercising and drinking 2L of water is vital for health. What I am suggesting is to factor in the new data that’s emerged and question your own diet and lifestyle. Your digestion, hormones and mental state depend on it. Because trust me when I say you have more control of your health than you think.