top of page

You NEED more Cholesterol… Cholesterol is good for you!

For years, even today in the mainstream, cholesterol has been cast as the villain in regards to heart health, but what if this has been a colossal misunderstanding? Or worse, what if this has been done on purpose? I am very passionate about this topic because I believe that eating red meat, grass-fed, is one of the best things you could do. Researching the topic regarding other cholesterol ‘increasing’ foods has also shown me my intuition might be on to something… so I think it is time to unravel some of the misconceptions built around cholesterol and shine a light on the real culprit behind heart disease—sugar and refined carbohydrates.



From the outset, we must distinguish between correlation and causation. The saturated fat and cholesterol hypothesis, famously popularized by Ancel Keys and his selective seven-country study, suggested a link between cholesterol and heart disease. Yet, his conclusions ignored the 16 other countries that didn't fit his hypothesis nor did he use all the information he had available, which could have obviously proven him wrong. Today, we understand that inflammation, often driven by high carbohydrate and sugar intake, is the primary factor in heart disease. I am going to break up the blog into sections to help simplify the read thus allowing me to explain each theory, fact, or point.

 

Sugar is The Real Enemy…

When we consume fructose and excessive glucose we're feeding the inflammatory processes that can lead to heart disease. The binding of sugar molecules to proteins creates rogue LDL particles that our liver simply cannot process, leading to arterial plaque and heart issues. Additionally, excessive fructose creates ailments in the liver, leading to a “fatty liver” and even more visceral fat. Visceral fat (think belly fat) is a hormonal fat that leads to metabolic dysfunction, depression and other harsh ailments.


Seed and Vegetable Oils are Killing You… not joking!

Still marketed as 'healthy' alternatives to animal fats, oils such as canola, soybean, and corn oil are actually feeding the flames of inflammation. Many of these oils, especially cotton seed, got their start (initially) in the machine business as they lubricated the machinery in factories. These highly processed oils undergo extensive refinement, bleaching, and deodorizing, stripping away any nutritional value and leaving behind compounds that contribute to oxidative stress within our bodies. Studies have linked high consumption of these oils to increased risks of heart disease, as they can create an environment conducive to arterial plaque build-up and systemic inflammation. Additionally, the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is thrown off with overconsumption of these oils, thus leading to decreased health/life expectancy.

 

Cholesterol's Plays a Protective Role aiding in Longevity and Hormone Balance…

Cholesterol is a building block of life and has many functions, such as supporting cell membrane integrity, hormone production, and even mental health. Lower levels of cholesterol have been linked to higher rates of depression and suicide (not joking). Additionally, cholesterol serves as the foundational substrate for steroid hormones, such as testosterone (all the men grunt)!! Adequate levels are necessary for the endocrine system to effectively produce testosterone. Testosterone is a vital hormone that is linked to muscle growth and libido, as well as bone density, mood regulation, and overall energy levels. Studies have consistently demonstrated that lower cholesterol levels can lead to a decrease in testosterone production, adversely affecting both mental and physical health.

 

High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as 'good' cholesterol, plays a critical role in ensuring our body's longevity and hormonal harmony. HDL sweeps away cholesterol from the arteries to the liver for disposal, thus PROTECTING against heart disease. Higher levels of HDL are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events, underscoring its importance in enhancing lifespan. As studies have shown, having low levels of HDL decrease life expectancy… this goes out to all you egg haters!

 

The Women’s Health Initiative Unveiled Many Truths…

In a landmark study that tracked women's health and dietary fats, those with heart disease who consumed a low-fat diet experienced a staggering 26% increase in cardiac events. This significant finding was, unfortunately, published on a report in the back pages… SO, WHAT IS THE WOMEN’S HEALTH INITIATIVE and does 26% really hold up?

 

The Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) was a research effort that aimed to uncover the impact of diet on long-term health outcomes in women, particularly in the realm of heart disease. The WHI data suggests that the type of fat in one's diet may be more significant than the amount thus somewhat creating conflict around the 26% number. The reduction of beneficial fats, for example, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (nuts, seeds, and fish) may inadvertently deprive the body of protective nutrients. It suggests a need for a paradigm shift in how dietary fats are viewed in relation to heart health, especially for women.

 

Rather than a blanket reduction of all fats, a balanced intake that emphasizes quality and context appears to be more conducive to heart health. Woman seem to be in higher demand for fat than men, but to drive home the point, the type of fat matters most. Choosing to eat/cook with healthy fats like grass-fed beef tallow, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, grass-fed butter (ghee too), macadamia nut oil and other fats such as these can really be a big nutrition win! Avoid seed and nut oils in foods because they are usually rancid and oxidize poorly when cooked on high heat.


Statins Show Limited Benefits with Considerable Costs!!

Statins… I have some strong opinions over so it is often hard to remain unbiased on this topic. However, I have done a lot of research over the years on this topic and am convinced they should not be taken. Statins, often prescribed for cardiovascular disease prevention, promise modest benefits (if any) at best. Research has highlighted that they might extend life by a scant few days, a benefit that hardly seems significant when weighed against their numerous side effects and the financial cost to patients and healthcare systems.

 

Side effects from statins range from muscle pain and fatigue to more severe risks like liver damage and increased diabetes incidence. Between the health risks and minimal life extension offered by statins, what justification do we have for their widespread use?

 

Do not take my word for it, do your own research, but why are we taking drugs that don’t work (or hardly) for a disease that should be cured holistically? On top of that, the whole topic built around cholesterol has been misleading at the very least, hence why I wrote this piece, making statins even more useless fighting against something that doesn’t need to be fought against. Instead of taking Statins just stop eating refined carbs, copious amounts of sugars and trans fats… but I digress.

 

A Nutrient-Dense Diet is the BEST Path to Health

Switching to a diet rich in high quality protein and healthy fats from grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish can reduce cancer risk and combat diseases such as Alzheimer's. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial in maintaining balance and fighting inflammation, contrary to the harmful effects of omega-6s from processed polyunsaturated fats. By replacing these so-called 'healthy' oils with natural, minimally processed fats like olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, ghee, tallow, suet, and lard we can take significant strides towards fortifying our heart health and reducing the risk of chronic disease.

 

As we have lightly explored the intricate role cholesterol, it's clear that our diet and lifestyle choices have a profound impact on our heart health. Cholesterol is not the enemy; it's a vital substance that supports numerous bodily functions. By shifting our focus from reducing cholesterol to lowering inflammation and improving overall diet quality, we can make strides toward better heart health. I strongly encourage everyone does extensive research into this topic, starting with reading The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz.

 

For those looking to dive deeper into personalized health strategies and nutritional guidance, Functional Muscle Fitness offers tailored programs to fit your unique needs. To learn more about how you can take control of your health and combat the myths surrounding cholesterol, reach out to Coach Wine at FMFMark@gmail.com...

 

SOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments


bottom of page