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Are You On a Diet for High Cholesterol?

April 8th, 2016 12:01:00 pm

Have you been put on a diet for high cholesterol? Have you considered frying without oil? If these are true for you... read further. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about cholesterol and diet.

cholesterol meterConfusing Dieting AdviceImage courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Here is a quote from an article I recently read:

“It’s common knowledge that too much cholesterol and other fats can lead to disease, and that a healthy diet involves watching how much fatty food we eat.”


Are you thinking you agree with that statement? Most people are nodding yes. We all assume our levels are too high, due to decades of cholesterol bashing.


Well what if I told you that it’s been proven untrue? “The pieces of the cardiovascular puzzle are coming together and new information is shoving aside cholesterol as the dreaded boogeyman of cardiovascular disease. If cholesterol were the omnikiller, then everyone with heart disease would have high cholesterol. Yet half of all heart attacks occur in individuals with normal cholesterol.” …“Cholesterol itself is not the culprit. Nature didn’t equip you with a system designed to kill you.” [1]


Our bodies need a certain amount of fat to function—and we can’t make it from scratch.


Triglycerides, cholesterol and other essential fatty acids—the scientific term for fats the body can’t make on its own—store energy, insulate us and protect our vital organs. They act as messengers, helping proteins do their jobs. They also start chemical reactions that help control growth, immune function, reproduction and other aspects of basic metabolism.


The cycle of making, breaking, storing and mobilizing fats is at the core of how humans and all animals regulate their energy. Unhealthy cells create an imbalance which is what can throw this system off and result in disease. Heavy metals can be a major contributor to this imbalance, as well as things like stress, sugar and trans-fatty acid consumption which directly causes inflammation.


Why do we need fat in our diet?

Fat provides needed energy. Fat is needed to prevent essential fatty acid deficiency. Fat is needed so your body can absorb the fat soluble vitamins A, S, E, K, and prevent deficiencies of these vitamins. Fat provides flavor and texture to help prevent food from being bland and dry. Fat helps food to stay in the stomach longer, giving a greater sense of satisfaction and preventing hunger soon after meals.

Fat may help your body produce endorphins (natural substances in the brain that produce pleasurable feelings). Diets too low in fat (less than 20 - 25%) may trigger cravings.


What does fat do for our body?

Fat provides back-up energy if blood sugar supplies run out (after 4-6 hours without food). It provides insulation under the skin from the cold and the heat. It protects organs and bones from shock and provides support for organs. Fat surrounds and insulates nerve fibers to help transmit nerve impulses. Fat is part of every cell membrane in the body.  It helps transport nutrients and metabolites across cell membranes. Your body uses fat to make a variety of other building blocks needed for everything from hormones to immune function.


So now…let’s talk about fats. Are they bad for us, or good for us?

Well… that all depends on the kind of fat.


Our bodies are magnificently designed to process food sources that are provided to us in nature. If you agree with that statement, then it’s easy to figure out what fats are good for you… as it would be the ones that your body knows exactly how to process and burn effectively—fats that will be absorbed to serve you well. Naturally occurring oils in food are good fats.


On the other hand… trans-fatty acids (trans fats) are the troublemakers. The ones that would not occur in nature. The body has no idea how to process or use these fats. I am referring to man-made partially hydrogenated fats. “Fake fats” that people have been so misinformed about over the years. Margarine, Shortening, Spreads, Fake Eggs in a carton, Non-fat milk. Processed! They serve the manufacturers by extending shelf-life almost indefinitely (yuck!) but are they serving you? They are in packaged baked goods, fried snacks, frozen products such as fish sticks and french fries, some brands of peanut butter, microwave popcorn, commercial salad dressings, and pancake mixes to just name a few.


Research now shows that these are NOT what we should be consuming to prevent heart disease. Because he had a heart attack, my father-in-law was told he should use margarine and not eat beef and so on. In fact, this advice is nearly perfectly opposite of what he should have been told—to repair and prevent further heart disease. The unnatural chemicals in these products are directly associated with increased free radical damage to cell membranes. This causes inflammation, which causes disease. If instead he had been told to eat healthy whole foods and naturally occurring fats, to heal those cells (so they would know how to behave within his system), it is probable that his overall health outcome would have been better and would not have led to diabetes.


What fats should we consume for good health?

Grass-Fed Beef: This one requires a lengthy explanation. See article here. Bottom line… cows are not designed to eat grain; they're designed to convert fiber into amino acids. Grazing on grass! A forage diet! So when you consume beef from a cow that was on its nature-intended diet (no grains), your body knows how to digest and use this beautifully. The opposite applies if you eat the beef from a cow that has been fattened with grain and given antibiotics and hormones as a result of the diet that does not serve his needs. Illness creeps in. Antibiotics are given, and the vicious cycle means that our food supply is greatly compromised. This process impedes the production of healthy fats like omega-3s and CLA in the beef, and increases the level of omega-6s. The meat processing companies make more money, because the cow is not fat from an inappropriate diet, and the meat that ends up on the consumers’ plate lacks food value.


Olive Oil: By now, most folks know that olive oil is good for us. But what you might not realize is that if it is heavily heated, it degrades, oxidizes and partially hydrogenates, creating harmful trans fats. So it’s best to add it onto your food after you have cooked it, rather than using it as a way to prevent your food from sticking to your pan. For a solution, you invest in naturally nonstick cookware that will allow you to cook without the added oil, (frying without oil!) and that will also not add any unwanted chemicals or heavy metals into your diet. Here is a link to Titanium Cookware that will make frying without oil super easy. The fish in this photo is browned without oil! Or even better, vapor cook your food instead, stovetop. Here is information on vapor cooking for good health.

Frying Fish Without Oil


I could go on and on listing the good fats… just keep in mind, don’t heat them excessively and inadvertently reverse the goodness.  Cook your food first (without oil), add healthy fats later for flavor before consuming. Remember that you can recognize them because they occur naturally in nature without gads of processing, hydrogenating and so on…. Avocados, Avocado Oil, Nuts, Coconut Oil, Butter from grass-fed cows (that were not fed antibiotics), Walnut Oil (high in EPAs), Wild-Caught Fish, Chicken broth with the healthy fats left in it (from free-range chickens).


If you are on a diet for high cholesterol, you will benefit from frying without oil (to prevent the oil from converting to unhealthy trans fats), and then consuming healthy fats that your body needs for proper functioning and repair.


[1] Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., James C. Roberts, M.D. with Martin Zucker; Copyright 2007; page 4 and page 32



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