Lower Your Cholesterol

In the world of health science research, there remains a debate over whether raising HDL levels actually fights heart disease. See a recent ABC News article Is Boosting Your HDL a Lost Cause?

The topic came up when someone asked me what foods her husband could eat after a doctor’s visit showed a rise in LDL. What a great question this was as it sent me on a journey to research the answer!

So in a somewhat miraculous way, the next morning after our conversation about high cholesterol levels I saw Dr. Neil Nedley being interviewed on a health program about the topic of Cholesterol.

Here is what I found…

When liver foods are exposed to the air the cholesterol in them becomes oxidized. Processes like powdering (think pancake mix and protein drinks) oxidizes them even more causing a greater health risk. The more foods remain exposed to the air the greater chance of the cholesterol in them becoming oxidized. Oxidized cholesterol is harmful to the heart, blood and arteries. Dr. Bruce Taylor, of New York City, did a study on monkeys (I never like to hear about animal testing but I am grateful for the animals scientific contribution to our health) feeding them non-oxidized cholesterol versus oxidized cholesterol, none who ate the non-oxidized foods had increased levels of cholesterol but those who ate the oxidized cholesterol developed atherosclerosis at a rapid rate. The tests measured dead cells in the aorta and found that the highest source of cholesterol is ice cream, the deadly trio being sugar, milk and eggs in whipped form. Second was pancake mix and third was grated Parmesan cheese. I totally remember being addicted to Parmesan cheese when I received my borderline diagnosis.No surprise there!

Although the research indicates the difference, it is impossible to eat any cholesterol foods that are actually not oxidized. All animal cholesterol coming from liver animals including milk and eggs is oxidized except for human breast milk because the baby gets it direct from the mother. All cow’s milk is exposed to the air producing fatty streaks which end up in the liver. Calves also drink milk without oxidation when drinking it directly from the cow.

Accordingly to the research, 1 out of every 5 heart attacks occurs in patients with a cholesterol level less than 160; 200, although many mistakenly believe that 160 is a good number, Dr. Nedley said HDL levels are not an indicator of heart attack or stroke because they do not take into account cholesterol in the diet, which is a contributing factor for heart disease.

The good news is…

The body functions in a way to heal itself, and scientists are beginning to understand and show more about the details of the body’s preservation system which works to maintain health, as nutritionists lead the way through the diet. That is why a healthy diet can actually reverse conditions like heart disease. Through a simple solution like cutting out cholesterol foods, we see the amazing design of a resilient body and the power of plant foods to help it thrive.

Your body can heal.

The liver can actually be trained to produce less cholesterol by eating foods higher in polyunsaturated fats and not eating foods high in saturated fats. Yes, eating good fats instead of high cholesterol fats actually reverses and even stops the risk of heart disease. Crisco would be saturated and Coconut Oil would be polyunsaturated, because the first is solid in the air while the second is liquid at room temperature. (See Dr. Nedley’s chart below). The solid fat will actually cause the liver to churn out twice the amount of cholesterol while the liquid fat will doubly decrease the liver’s production of cholesterol. So high cholesterol is reversible through diet!

See Dr. Nedley’s P/S or polyunsaturated/saturated fat ratio chart. You will see why we have heard so much about eating more chicken and turkey as a healthy option because the P/S ratio is less than beef but that is not good enough, in actuality foods with a P/S ratio lower than 2.0 will cause the liver to produce more cholesterol while foods with a P/S ratio of 2.0 or higher will decrease cholesterol production. Sadly, I haven’t had one pistachio since the day I saw Dr. Nedley!

I am so grateful for this question and the groundbreaking information that it led me to. If you have concerns about your cholesterol levels let the information guide you, check in with a doctor and start making simple changes in the foods you choose and eat. Then watch your cholesterol levels decrease. To find out more about heart disease see the Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book and website http://www.heartattackproof.com.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products mentioned or content written is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.