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The Lowdown on High Cholesterol

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends cholesterol screening in children 9 years-old and up; as young as 2 if at risk due to genetics and other factors. If your child’s cholesterol is high, a low-fat diet and statin drugs, now FDA approved for children, may be prescribed to prevent future heart disease.

What??? Put children on drugs that are known to cause serious side effects? 

In the first place, there is ZERO proof that high cholesterol causes heart disease. Half of all people who have died from a heart attack or stroke have normal levels.

The opposite is true, with studies demonstrating that those on a high saturated fat diet of meat, eggs and dairy are less likely to suffer from heart disease. They also have better blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol lowering drugs have NOT been proven safe for long-term use for children (or really anyone, for that matter). Unfortunately, drug studies tend to be short-term, or are stopped when they begin producing harm. They are also often funded by the companies themselves, so researchers tend to be biased, with statistics frequently manipulated – or fabricated. To learn more about these drugs, read The Problem with Statins.

Contrary to what we’ve been told, both HDL and LDL cholesterol are good. The following are just a few ways cholesterol keeps us mentally and physically healthy:

  • Helps to manage stress and balance emotions
  • Protects the body from free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer
  • Ensures healthy growth and development in children
  • Assists with digestion and assimilation of fats
  • Prevents leaky gut and other intestinal disorders

Low levels of cholesterol can be downright dangerous!

Research has shown that kids low in omega-3 fats are much more likely to be hyperactive, struggle with learning disorders, and display behavioral problems. These deficiencies have also been tied to dyslexia, violence and depression. Adults on a low-fat diet can develop hormone imbalance, weight gain, poor brain function, higher risk of insulin resistance and diabetes, and heart problems. Why on earth would you put these people on a fat-free diet?

The Body is Wiser than We Think

Our body constantly strives to keep us in balance, and this includes managing cholesterol. 25% of cholesterol used by the body comes from our diet; the rest is manufactured. If we eat a lot of saturated fats, less cholesterol is produced. When levels are low, your liver puts out more to maintain balance.

During pregnancy, while healing from an injury or illness, and when under a great deal of stress, your body responds with additional cholesterol. It also increases during cold winter months. The liver (if healthy) efficiently removes any excess.

The Beginning of Heart Disease

An unhealthy body/mind produces arteries that are weak and damaged. Inflammation occurs as a natural response, and LDL cholesterol, a waxy healing substance, is called to the scene. To repair the damaged blood vessel and keep us alive, the body deposits cholesterol into the artery wall. High levels of LDL (the so-called bad cholesterol) indicate that the body is doing its job of repairing your arteries.

LDL becomes a problem over time, though, as more and more plaque is deposited as a response to the stress in your damaged arteries. This creates narrowing and hardening of the artery, leading to restricted blood flow and the potential for heart attack.

The Root Cause of Heart Disease 

For more than 40 years we have been told that high cholesterol causes heart disease, and studies proving otherwise have been ignored. While the truth is finally out there, it is still confusing and controversial.

I believe that the cause of all disease is stress – whether from your diet, lifestyle or environment – which causes inflammation, (your body’s natural response to stress). Stress is created by the following factors:

  • too much sitting and not enough exercise
  • vitamin, mineral, and essential fatty acid deficiencies
  • smoking and excessive alcohol
  • a diet high in white sugar, white/wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup, and trans-fats (most vegetable oils)
  • synthetic additives in our food such as MSG, aspartame, etc.
  • toxins from drugs, vaccines and the environment
  • not balancing work with recreation
  • worry and anxiety, resentment or anger 
  • sleep deprivation or poor quality of sleep
  • low-grade bacterial, viral and fungal infections 

The Bottom Line

  • A high-fat diet does not cause heart disease and can help to prevent it
  • A low-fat diet is bad for your health – besides, if taken out, the body will just produce more
  • Fatty foods may not be great for us, but they won’t clog our arteries
  • A healthy liver removes excess cholesterol – the key is healthy
  • Vegetable oils (saturated fat) damage arteries due to the way they are processed (cold-pressed olive is ok)
  • To reduce the risk of heart disease, improve your diet and lifestyle
  • CoQ10 (or Ubiquinol for seniors) and Magnesium are essential to prevent or reverse heart disease

One thing that all heart attack victims have in common is low magnesium and CoQ10 levels! To find out ways to naturally improve the health of your heart, read my post, Heart Healthy Tips.

 

 


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