The terms cholesterol and heart disease seem to be permanently linked together, almost as if the former is the main cause of the latter. This is not true at all, however, as the majority of evidence links atherosclerosis as the primary cause of coronary heart disease, a condition caused when ruptured scar tissue appears within artery linings, as opposed to the actual buildup of plaque on the walls themselves. Certain scientists believe that as cholesterol moves within our bloodstream it invariably sticks to the artery walls, leading to a heart attack, even though a body of opinion provides contrary evidence. As much negative publicity has been given to the amount of cholesterol in our bloodstream, linked to the saturated fat content, it is said that these twin evils simply cling to the lining of the arteries and cause a dangerous blockage.
We absolutely need cholesterol within the makeup and control of our bodily cells, as it is involved in transferring nutrients, regulating neuro transmitters, as well as hormones and is said to be a precursor to vitamin D transportation, which is another essential element. Therefore, if we don’t have enough cholesterol, we can develop problems with our hormones and this can promote disease and other major issues in its own right. As cholesterol coats nerve fibers, it is essential to help protect our nervous system and scientists have revealed that lower levels of cholesterol can lead to such awful diseases as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
As we all know by now, cholesterol is measured three ways — total, LDL and HDL. We are told that we may have high cholesterol or low cholesterol and that HDL is “good” and LDL is “bad.” HDL and LDL are lipoproteins, responsible for transporting cholesterol. The HDL, being high-density, moves the cholesterol to the liver for redistribution, while the low-density LDL carries it to the liver in the first place. In addition, fat is circulated through the bloodstream as well as the cholesterol, in the form of triglycerides. If you think about it for a moment, why would our bodies continue to move and recycle cholesterol in this way if it was so bad for us, as those scientists constantly preach?
It is far more likely that cellular damage and inflammation in the artery walls, leading to atherosclerosis, can be caused by high blood sugar, poor nutrition, stress, or high blood pressure, a sad consequence of our modern lifestyles. While research dating back to the 1950s tells us that heart disease is supposedly linked to the amount of fat in our diets, there’s been plenty of contradictory evidence, although this has not achieved such strong exposure. Just look at the Eskimos as an example. They have longer than average lifespans, yet their diet is almost exclusively composed of meat.
We are told by the Surgeon General how we should make up our diets. We’re told not to eat saturated fats, but to focus on polyunsaturated fats or monounsaturated fats, but most vegetable oils have high concentrations of Omega-6 fatty acids, which few of us balance with essential or Omega-3 fatty acids, most commonly found in fish. If we do as we’re told and look at the diets low in trans fat, or even high in carbohydrates, we can end up with elevated blood sugar which is also indicated for atherosclerosis.
Far too often, medication is indicated for a cholesterol “imbalance,” which can often have side effects. The popular form of medication, statin, is believed by many to create more problems than it attempts to solve. Rather, we should change the way that we conduct our lifestyles if we want to see real change.
Tags: Health and Fitness