According to the American Heart Association, “On an average, there is one death every thirty four seconds due to Coronary Vascular Disease (CVD).”
Millions have been warned about the dangers of high cholesterol and heart disease.
Don’t believe the hype! It’s time for some shocking insight about cholesterol.
A few facts about this often misunderstood substance:
- Cholesterol is responsible for brain synapses (communication between nerve cells)
- Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol by action of sunlight on skin (vitamin D is essential for bone health and protects against cancer)
- Cholesterol is needed for absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K
- Cholesterol repairs cells – “Cholesterol is being transported to tissues as part of an inflammatory response that is there to repair damage.”
- “Low-fat, low-cholesterol diets can be very unhealthy, especially for women. All our major hormones are made from cholesterol: estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, DHEA, and testosterone. If we don’t eat enough, our bodies divert cholesterol from our endocrine system to use for brain function and repair. When that happens, it’s almost impossible for our bodies to maintain hormonal balance.”
Cholesterol is imperative to our health.
The body increases cholesterol in reaction to inflammation, infection and stress. This is a normal response. The human body is brilliant and naturally self-protective.
Whoever created the human body and its miraculous functions is a super-genius. I’m just sayin’.
Demonizing cholesterol, and taking statin drugs to unnaturally lower our levels, sets the body up for failure. Some negative side effects of cholesterol lowering drugs include: nerve damage, muscle degeneration, acidosis, anemia, cataracts, memory loss, sexual dysfunction, pancreas and liver dysfunction, increased risk for diabetes, low vitamin D levels and cancer.
Contrary to popular belief high cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease.
Back in the 1970’s, nutritional science recommended reducing saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods and encouraged us to eat margarine instead.
What happened to heart disease when we took that advice? It skyrocketed!
Today, we know butter is better than margarine (margarine is hydrogenated fat).
Egg yolks were also implicated as a “dangerous for the heart” food. As far as eggs go… many of the best nutrients reside in the infamous cholesterol rich egg yolk (lutein, lecithin, vitamins A& D, E & K).
Preventing heart disease is not about lowering cholesterol. A better way to support heart health is to reduce or eliminate food and lifestyle behaviors that contribute to stress, poor immunity, and overgrowth of bacteria.
Common offenders include:
- Sugar and highly refined carbohydrates that can increase stress hormone, depress immunity, and feed bacteria
- Excessive amounts of caffeine that can increase stress hormone 
- Eating sick and diseased animals that have lived a stressed-out and unhealthy life in factory farms
- Pesticide laden foods that damage the immune, reproductive and endocrine systems
Reducing the risk of heart disease can be easy and delicious by choosing wholesome foods that are naturally and ethically raised without chemicals or preservatives.
Foods to include in a heart healthy diet include:
- Whole grains
- Fermented foods
- Nuts & seeds
- Naturally raised animal proteins & fats (including the much maligned egg and butter)
Eat foods your ancestors ate and ditch the modern highly processed foods that contain refined carbs, high sugar content, and crappy fats.
If you don’t know what your ancestors ate, ask your grandmother what her grandmother ate, and then eat that food.
Besides proper nutrition and daily physical exercise, the heart needs emotional healing.
Detrimental to heart energy is an inability to forgive others as well as an inability to forgive oneself.
The Buddha said, “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
Let go and drop that hot coal! I’m sure there are much better things you can do with your hands… like hug someone.
Andrea Beaman is an internationally renowned Holistic Health Coach, Natural Foods Chef, Speaker and Herbalist. Named one of the top 100 Most Influential Health and Fitness Experts, she is also a recipient of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Award for Excellence in Health-Supportive Education and a Health Leadership award from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Since 1999, Andrea has been teaching people how to harness the body’s own preventative and healing powers using food, herbal remedies and alternative medicine.