iStock_000015224885XSmall-300x300February is Heart Health Month and millions are being warned about the dangers of high cholesterol and heart disease.

Don’t believe the hype! It’s time for some shocking insight about cholesterol.

It is estimated that over 80 million in the US are suffering with some form of heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, “On an average, there is one death every thirty four seconds due to Coronary Vascular Disease (CVD).”

A few facts about this often misunderstood substance:

  • Cholesterol is responsible for brain synapses (communication between nerve cells)
  • Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol by action of sunlight on skin (vitamin D is essential for bone health and protects against cancer)
  • Cholesterol is needed for absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K
  • Cholesterol repairs cells – “Cholesterol is being transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory response that is there to repair damage.”
  • Low-fat, low-cholesterol diets can be very unhealthy, especially for women. All our major hormones are made from cholesterol: estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, DHEA, and testosterone. If we don’t eat enough, our bodies divert cholesterol from our endocrine system to use for brain function and repair. When that happens, it’s almost impossible for our bodies to maintain hormonal balance.”

Cholesterol is imperative to our health. The body increases cholesterol in reaction to inflammation, infection and stress. This is a normal response.

The human body is brilliant and naturally self-protective. The LORD GOD created the human body and it is miraculous!

Demonizing cholesterol, and taking statin drugs to unnaturally lower our levels, sets the body up for failure. Some negative side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs include: nerve damage, muscle degeneration, acidosis, anemia, cataracts, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, pancreas and liver dysfunction, increased risk for diabetes, low vitamin D levels and cancer.

Contrary to popular belief high cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease. Recent studies indicate stress, bacterial infection and poor immunity as more probable causes. Preventing heart disease is not about lowering cholesterol.

A better way to support heart health is to reduce or eliminate food and lifestyle behaviors that contribute to stress, poor immunity, and overgrowth of bacteria.

Common offenders include:

  • Sugar and highly refined carbohydrates that can increase stress hormone, depress immunity, and feed bacteria.
  • Excessive amounts of caffeine that can increase stress hormone.
  • Eating sick and diseased animals that have lived a stressed-out and unhealthy life in factory farms
  • Pesticide laden foods that damage the immune, reproductive and endocrine systems.

Reducing the risk of heart disease can be easy and delicious by choosing wholesome foods that are naturally and ethically raised without chemicals or preservatives.

Foods to include in a heart healthy diet include:

  • Properly prepared whole grains
  • Beans
  • Vegetables
  • Fermented foods
  • Properly prepared nuts & seeds
  • Fruits
  • Fats
  • Naturally raised animal proteins & fats (including the much maligned egg and butter)

Back in the 1970’s, nutritional science recommended reducing saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods and encouraged us to eat margarine instead. What happened to heart disease when we took that advice? It skyrocketed!

Today, we know butter is better than margarine (margarine is hydrogenated fat). And, as far as eggs go… many of the best nutrients reside in the infamous cholesterol rich egg yolk (lutein, lecithin, vitamins A& D, E & K). Trust me, eat the WHOLE egg. Your body will love you for it.

Eat foods your ancestors ate and ditch the modern highly processed foods that contain refined carbs, high sugar content, and harmful, adulterated fats. If you don’t know what your ancestors ate, ask your grandmother what her grandmother ate, and then eat that food!

If you are experiencing high cholesterol you must look to correct the cause. Think of cholesterol as the fire department putting out the fire (inflammation) in your body. You wouldn’t want to hinder the fire department (by taking statin drugs) from putting the fire out, would you? High cholesterol (over 250) can be caused by numerous imbalances in the body…an under active thyroid, over supplementation of calcium, under supplementation of K2 and consuming hydrogenated oils to name a few. The best way to determine your individual needs would be to seek a nutritional consultation to review dietary habits and determine nutrient deficiencies.


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