Lower your Cholesterol - why should you, how can you and what is cholesterol lowering?
You have been told to lower your cholesterol levels is important, so how do you lower cholesterol and more importantly, why should you try to lower your cholesterol levels?.
Cholesterol is an essential component of thousands of body processes, not least the majority of hormones, especially the sex hormones. Without cholesterol, the processes that rely on those hormones would grind to a halt, because the lower your cholesterol the less cholesterol is available for chemical transformation. Unfortunately, cholesterol has been the subject of much speculation, poor research , vested interests and many, many advertising dollars, with the result that most people believe that you need to lower your cholesterol.
Unfortunately, it is not as simple as "lower your cholesterol", we have to understand the principles behind cholesterol lowering and the important factor - who stands to gain when you lower your cholesterol?
In our review of cholesterol, we have shown that the science behind cholesterol lowering is fundamentally flawed and that, if you are like most people, you do not need to lower your cholesterol. Why, simple, your cholesterol isn't the problem in the first place.
Cholesterol is a naturally-occurring fat which is fundamentally required for good health. It is the precursor to both the male hormone testosterone and the female hormone estrogen, which cannot be made without it. In addition, it performs many, many other vital functions in the body.
Levels of cholesterol in blood have nothing to do with fat in the diet - almost! So why are so many people telling you to lower your cholesterol? Simply, we have been duped by those who want to make a fast buck, namely the doctors, pharmaceutical companies and vegetable oil maufacturers who spread the lie that you need to lower your cholesterol.
Contrary to popular belief, in most people, the levels of cholesterol found in the blood have little or nothing to do with fats consumed in the diet. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver in the amounts required by the body to perform its various functions. It therefore follows that either reducing the amount of fat in the diet or taking pills to lower your cholesterol is absolutely pointless.
The main reason cited for the desirability of to lower your cholesterol is the massive increase in ischemic heart disease (IHD) seen during the 20th century. IHD, the main consequence of which is angina and myocardial infarction (MI, or heart attack) was virtually unknown at the beginning of the 1900s. In fact, one well-known Doctor, who practised for many years from the mid-1920's is quoted as saying that he didn't see a single case of MI for the first 7 years of his practice, yet we've been eating butter and red meat for thousands of years! How does that suggest you have to lower your cholesterol?
Subsequent examination of those who died of MI showed that their arteries had been "clogged up" with fatty deposits that were high in cholesterol. The connection between cholesterol and IHD was made and that was that. Ever since, Doctors have been trying to invent ways to lower your cholesterol levels, but have not stopped to consider why cholesterol levels were elevated in the first place! If they had, they might have been surprised. In order to explain, we need to examine the physiology of blood vessels, particularly arteries, which we do on our review of cholesterol.
Is it really important to lower your cholesterol?
Having accepted that cholesterol does not CAUSE heart disease, but is merely a symptom, you could be excused for not deciding to lower your cholesterol at all.
Back from lower your cholesterol to cholesterol
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Essential fatty acids
Otherwise known as "brain food", these fats can't be made in the body and must be in the diet. Unfortunately, in many cases they are almost totally missing, leading to numerous health (and psychiatric / social) problems.
Saturated animal fat
Red meat, dairy products, lard dripping and suet - a recipe for disease or the means to prevent it?
All oils are not created equal. Find out why some vegetable oils are better than others.
Hydrogenated oils (unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats)
Margarine, shortening and other "low-cholesterol" fats. Find out why these have caused more damage to health than any other type of oils or fats.
Other Nutrient groups:
Essential fatty acids