Dispelling Myths about Cholesterol

For nearly 50 years, cholesterol and saturated fat have been maligned by the medical community for their purported role in heart disease. However, a large body of scientific research indicates that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are not the driving forces behind heart disease.

By Dr Nyari Panweni

Despite this evidence, much of the medical community continues to promote outdated dietary guidelines for patients with high cholesterol and heart disease, including low-­‐fat and low-­‐cholesterol diets. As it turns out, this outdated advice may actually be harmful to the heart.

Cholesterol and saturated fat are not to blame for high cholesterol and heart disease and why a reduced-­‐carbohydrate, nutrient-­‐dense diet is the healthiest approach for treating high cholesterol and heart disease.

The detrimental impacts of heart disease arenot limited to physical effects; heart disease also has an enormous effect on our pocketbooks.

90% of heart disease is preventable. Imagine that! So, you can help control high cholesterol via diet and lifestyle. It becomes clear that nutritional interventions should be at the forefront of our approach to preventing and treating heart disease. Assumption is that consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol raises cholesterol in the blood, thus increasing the risk of heart disease.

So the general idea that low-­‐fat, low-­‐cholesterol, high-­‐carbohydrate diets have greater benefit for heart health is incorrect. Interesting enough, it appears that dietary cholesterol has very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in approximately 75% of the population.

Risk Factors – do any of these ring true for you or your family?

  • Gut dsybiosis (imbalanced gut flora – good bacteria/probiotics)
  • Poor thyroid function (subclinical function)
  • Environmental toxins (heavy metals)
  • Chronic infections (H.Plyori, latent viral infection/s)
  • Metabolic dysfunction
  • Poor diet – high in trans-­‐fats, commercial/fast foods
  • Obesity – BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30 or higher
  • Large waist circumference – for a man a waist of at least 40 inches or 102 cms and a woman 35 inches or 89 cm
  • Lack of exercise – exercise boosts your HDL “good cholesterol” and increases the size of particles that make up your LDL or bad cholesterol making it less harmful
  • Smoking – cigarette smoking damages the walls of the blood vessels and make them more susceptible to the accumulation of fatty deposits and smoking also reduces your HDL
  • Diabetes – high blood sugar contributes to higher LDL and lower HDL and high bloodsugar damages the lining of your arteries
  • Genetic -­‐ cause health problems related to the buildup ofexcess cholesterol in other tissues. If cholesterol accumulates in tendons, it causes characteristic growths called tendon xanthomas.
  • Low Vitamin D -­‐vitamin D supports immune function, regulates cell growth and helps reduce inflammation and helps in the regulation of cholesterol
  • Too much Iron – this with high cholesterol increases risk of cancer especially if you have high

<40mg/DL (female)  <50mg/DL (male)

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