“The Myth of Cholesterol,” a book selection from my Karen Dame Book Library page, is an important read for everyone, especially if you are concerned about cholesterol and how it affects your health. Cholesterol is a hormone that is a very important part of the body and your overall health. It is found in high concentrations, in the brain tissue and when we try to limit it, as is the case with statins, it can create major problems with brain function. Our body synthesizes cholesterol naturally. Most of it is made in the liver, about 50%. The gut and skin synthesize the rest. The very idea that cholesterol causes heart disease is a theory that has never been proven and is still being perpetuated today. The fact is that most people who have heart attacks do not have high cholesterol. The majority of people who have had heart attacks have other risk factors, not just a high cholesterol level. Cholesterol is actually the least important of all the risk factors. Hypertension, stress and diabetes are risk factors that pose a much greater risk for cardiovascular disease than cholesterol does. Many cutting edge Cardiologists have stated that individuals with low cholesterol levels, that is under 160, actually have a higher mortality rate.
As we push our shopping carts through the grocery store, we notice many packaged food items stamped, no cholesterol, or cholesterol free. The intent of this marketing campaign is to lead you to believe that eating foods with cholesterol in it will raise your cholesterol level, wrong! Dietary cholesterol is really not a problem and does not become a problem unless it is oxidized. To oxidize food requires heating it to a high temperature in the presence of oxygen, as is the case when frying. Saturated fat has also been implicated as a heart disease accelerator, when it really is trans-oils that create a problem for heart health. They are everywhere in processed, packaged and deep fried foods and are usually disguised under the name, partially hydrogenated oils. You can lower your risk of heart disease by a whopping 93% just by eliminating this dangerous oil from your diet. Saturated fat actually promotes heart and brain health. The Framingham Study, for example, showed a decrease in the risk of stroke among those who ate saturated fat. This study also revealed that in postmenopausal women with a higher saturated fat intake, there was less progression of coronary artery disease.
“The Myth of Cholesterol,” was written by Paul Dugliss, MD and Sandra Fernandez, MSPH. Together, they explain in an easy to read format, why this myth has been so damaging. They discuss the real causes of heart disease and how to side step your risk and ways to promote heart health. If you are worried about heart disease or you know someone who is, do yourself a favor and read this book. Understanding the need for cholesterol in our body and how it promotes good health is critically important for you and those you love.