The Cholesterol Conundrum

I used to believe that cholesterol, and the medications used to treat it, were just a ploy by drug companies to treat yet another “disease” that really isn’t one.

We need cholesterol to function; the question is, how much do we really need, and do we need to “eliminate” it at all costs?   The answer is yes, and no.

Cholesterol is not the evil it once was believed.  In fact, several studies done have given false information on how cholesterol really affects us:

From this webpage we can see that these studies were flawed:

The Seven Countries’ Study Incorrectly Links Dietary Fat to Heart Disease

Several decades ago, Dr. Ancel Keys published a seminal paper that serves as the basis for nearly all of the initial scientific support for the Cholesterol Theory. The study is known as the Seven Countries Study, that linked the consumption of dietary fat to coronary heart disease. What you may not know is that when Keys published his analysis that claimed to prove the link between dietary fats and coronary heart disease (CHD), he selectively analyzed information from only seven countries to prove his correlation, rather than comparing all the data available at the time — from 22 countries.

As you might suspect, the studies he excluded were those that did not fit with his hypothesis, namely those that showed a low percentage fat in their diet and a high incidence of death from CHD as well as those with a high-fat diet and low incidence of CHD. If all 22 countries had been analyzed, there would have been no correlation found whatsoever; it should have been called the 22 Countries Study!

The nutrition community of that time completely accepted the hypothesis, and encouraged the public to cut out butter, red meat, animal fats, eggs, dairy and other “artery clogging” fats from their diets — a radical change at that time that is still very much in force today.

Most of the experts I know believe that Dr. Keys’ research was pivotal for perpetuating the low-fat approach to health. This is a major part of the solid science you will need to know if anyone seeks to disagree with you when you share this information; this study is really the foundation that triggered the massive emphasis on low-fat diets and the flawed belief that cholesterol is so pernicious.

You can read more on the website.  I am on the fence about statins-the go to drug used to treat high cholesterol.  Are they really necessary?  If someone has coronary artery disease, like my husband, then yes, I believe there is some benefit.
cholesterol levels infographic

I know someone who took a statin and became paralyzed.  Scary indeed!  You liver makes about 75% of the cholesterol in your body.  What you eat has very little effect on your cholesterol levels.   That’s right-eating meat, eggs, cheese really has nothing to do with it.  I believe that some of us are more prone to having clogged arteries than others. And it’s not all about eating animal protein.   It’s about other factors.

We all eat too much “junk”.    Snacks loaded with trans fats, candy, cookies…the American diet is rife with things that affect our health.

Here are some ways the article shows to lower your cholesterol without taking statins:

So How Can You Optimize Your Cholesterol Levels?

The most effective way to optimize your cholesterol profile and prevent heart disease is via diet and exercise. It’s actually quite simple too. Remember that 75 percent of your cholesterol is produced by your liver, which is influenced by your insulin levels.

Therefore, if you optimize your insulin level, you will automatically optimize your cholesterol and reduce your risk of both diabetes and heart disease. There is NO magic pill to cure heart disease, as the underlying cause is insulin resistance caused by eating too many sugars, grains and especially fructose.

So, my primary recommendations for safely regulating your cholesterol and reducing your risk of heart disease include:

  • Reduce, with the plan of eliminating grains and fructose from your diet. This is one of the best ways to optimize your insulin levels, which will have a positive effect on not just your cholesterol, but also reduces your risk of diabetes and heart disease, and most other chronic diseases. Use my Nutrition Plan to help you determine the ideal diet for you, and consume a good portion of your food raw.

  • Get plenty of high quality, animal-based omega 3 fats, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (trans fats, vegetable oils) to balance out your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.

  • Include heart-healthy foods in your diet, such as olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products and eggs, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and organic grass-fed meats.

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels by getting proper sun exposure

  • Exercise daily. Make sure you incorporate peak fitness exercises, which also optimizes your human growth hormone (HGH) production.

  • Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol excessively.

  • Be sure to get plenty of good, restorative sleep.

I do not agree with taking krill or fish oil-not only can it turn rancid but it can thin your blood.  Also, be careful with sun exposure!

My own cholesterol is high-over 200, but I believe I can lower it with proper diet and exercise.

How do you feel about cholesterol and statins?  I would love to hear your comments.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. DaisyWillows says:

    Interesting post. I thought I was cynical ? 😀


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      I’m the queen of cynical!


  2. A great read!!! Yes sometime one is just predisposed to having higher cholesterol levels rather than than diet related…I the moderation is the key in a diet…thanks for sharing this post:))


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Thanks so much- I’m glad you found it helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

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