Below health and wellness writer Sara Davenport writes about high cholesterol …
Do you have high cholesterol levels? Has a doctor advised you to cut down on artery-clogging fats, to steer clear of all those ‘cholesterol baddies’? Eggs and cheese in particular ? Are you taking statins to prevent you from having a heart attack or stroke? If so, do your own research carefully! Looking at the official statistics, it appears there is no evidence to connect fatty foods with high cholesterol levels, or high cholesterol levels with heart disease.
4 Facts About Cholesterol
1 Cholesterol is not a ‘bad’ thing:
It’s actually a very good thing. Your body makes the wax-like substance in quantity, mainly in your liver and your gut. Cholesterol is essential for almost all your body’s functions: for hormone production, for digestion, to keep your memory sharp and your brain capable. It boosts your central nervous system and your cells. You really need it. With levels that are too low, things stop working properly and without any cholesterol at all you would be dead. It’s that simple.
2 High cholesterol does not cause high rates of heart disease.
The image of the artery clogged by saturated fats is outdated. Researchers have found no link at all between eating a high saturated fat diet and having high cholesterol levels. There is no evidence that connects fatty foods with high cholesterol levels, or high cholesterol levels with heart disease – or stroke or Type 2 diabetes.
Dr Malcolm Kendrick analysed global World Health Organisation (WHO) data and found: “Every single one of the seven countries with the lowest saturated fat consumption has significantly higher rates of heart disease than every single one of the countries with the highest saturated fat consumption.”
Eat Fewer Carbs
In fact, eating more rather than less fat slows down atherosclerosis. Researchers also found that it was carbohydrate, not fat, that blocks arteries.
3 High cholesterol is not linked to higher death rates:
No research proves that. There is instead a significant association between higher cholesterol levels and lower numbers of deaths, and the reverse, low cholesterol levels and higher death levels for men. There is an even clearer pattern for women.
The PURE study which looked at the diet of more than 153,000 people in relation to cardiovascular disease levels for over 7 years found instead that high carbohydrate intake was associated with higher risk of total mortality, whereas total fat and individual types of fat were related to lower total mortality.
4 Statin statistics:
The latest research shows that even if you are in the highest risk group possible (male, older and have already had a heart attack) you will gain no benefit at all. If you are on statins for 5 years, for every 100 patients, 1.8 men will live, on average, an extra 6 months and 98.2 will gain nothing! Many people suffer debilitating side effects from the drugs. Yet the tendency now is to encourage you to stay on them for the rest of your life.. However there is no research that shows you gain any benefits at all taking statins for cholesterol above 70.
How to Lower Your Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is now thought to be a sign of chronic inflammation in the body, and the best way to reduce it is simply to eat proper whole foods and walk briskly for half an hr a day. Put on your Fitbit, up your daily step quota and solve your cholesterol problems as you go!
by Sara Davenport
Sara Davenport has decades of experience in the complementary health field. She is the Founder of Breast Cancer Haven . She also writes the blog RebootHealth.co.uk which looks at all aspects of health and healing, bringing you a regular dose of DIY get-well advice.