We all have heard it for decades. Heart disease is caused by elevated blood cholesterol and the only accepted therapy is prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that restricts fat intake. The latter, the experts have insisted, will lower cholesterol and heart disease.
The truth is, the long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
The fact is your liver manufactures 75% of the cholesterol in your body. Cholesterol is essential for many physical functions:
- It builds and maintains cell membranes
- It is essential for determining which molecules can pass into the cell and which cannot.
- It is involved in the production of estrogen and testosterone.
- It is essential for the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands (cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others)
- It aids in the production of bile
- It converts sunshine to vitamin D.
- It is important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K
- It insulates nerve fibers
Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the cholesterol and fat in our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.
The realization several years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the root cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments should be treated.
Without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped, because your body uses cholesterol to repair the damage from inflammation.
Inflammation is your body’s natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Most of us have followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the diets now causing an epidemic of inflammation. We now know that for 75% of people, dietary cholesterol does not change blood cholesterol at all, and for 25%, only slightly. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and avoid those your mom may have turned to as grocery store aisles filled with processed foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods such as those made with processed flour and refined sugars, and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.