Research shows that 3/4 of people who suffer a first-time heart attack exhibit normal cholesterol levels (1). How is this possible when we’ve been taught to believe that high cholesterol is a (if not THE) major cause of heart disease?
The link between cholesterol and heart disease originated from a highly flawed 1960’s study which suggested that eating large amounts of meat and dairy raises the risk of having a heart attack.
In the 50 years that followed, a massive transformation took place in America during which two highly influential multi-billion dollar enterprises were created: 1) The pharmaceutical industry produced cholesterol drugs, and 2) The food industry manufactured a tidal wave of chemical-filled low-fat and cholesterol-free foods.
Even worse than shoveling enormous amounts of health-destroying Frankenfoods and harmful food additives into the mouths of our children was the resultant shift in nutritional focus. Since fat was no longer “on the menu,” people turned to refined carbohydrates, frozen meals, and processed dairy instead.
Here is a summary of the most important facts you should know about cholesterol:
1. Cholesterol is NOT evil. In fact, it’s necessary for the healing process and life itself.
2. Cholesterol is imperative for the creation of new cells and the repair of damaged cells. It’s also necessary for forming memories, driving neurological functions (brain and nerves), and synthesizing hormones like Vitamin D, estrogen, testosterone, and cortisone. If cholesterol is high, it’s because the body needs it.
3. Most of the cholesterol in the body is created by the liver and NOT the result of eating cholesterol from real food like eggs and red meat.
4. The cholesterol in food does NOT raise serum (blood) cholesterol.
5. LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, is just as important as HDL (good) cholesterol.
6. High cholesterol is NOT a disease. It’s a “risk factor” for disease, and treating high cholesterol (an effect) with drugs does NOT address the underlying problem.
7. Statin drugs for treating high cholesterol are some of the most dangerous drugs in existence and have been linked in over 900 scientific studies to more than 300 adverse health effects – including breast cancer (2), prostate cancer (3), colorectal cancer (4), osteoarthritis (5), cataracts (6), diabetes (7), atherosclerosis (8), rheumatoid arthritis (9), cell death (10)(11), and decreased heart function (12).
Note: This is just a small sample of scientific studies linking statin drugs to debilitating health conditions. It certainly makes one wonder why these drugs are even legal.
8. Cholesterol does NOT cause heart disease. After performing over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, a heart surgeon explains in this article that INFLAMMATION is the real problem.
Full article on the above summary: 6 Ways to Lower Cholesterol Without Drugs.
7 Natural Remedies for High Cholesterol
My previous article explains in more detail the specific lifestyle changes required to get high cholesterol under control.
This article, on the other hand, will focus on a list of foods scientifically proven to improve blood lipid panels and assist in healthy cholesterol balance.
1. Black Seed
I mention black seed a lot, but that’s because of the seemingly endless health benefits (from killing MRSA to destroying cancer cells) science has demonstrated it offers.
See my full article on black seed here.
Niacin is Vitamin B3 and has exhibited an ability to outperform some prescription meds in reducing cholesterol and preventing heart disease (15).
Food sources of niacin include lean meats, poultry, fish, nuts, and eggs.
*If considering a niacin supplement, we recommend a version made from real food rather than a synthetic source.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut is another food with more health benefits than could be discussed here. It made my list of 6 Powerhouse Foods You Should Definitely Be Eating.
♦ Coconut oil is a healthy source of saturated fat (yes, I said healthy saturated fat) and contains polyphenols (antioxidants (16)) responsible for protecting many organs against chemical toxins and normalizing blood lipids (17)(18).
Coconut oil can be eaten raw or used in place of unhealthy vegetable oils when cooking.
Other foods rich in polyphenols are cloves, peppermint, oregano, chestnuts, blueberries, black olives, and pecans.
4. Nuts & Seeds
Many nuts and seeds contain impressive amounts of important vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
The following were all shown scientifically to either balance blood lipid levels, lower LDL cholesterol counts, or increase amounts of “good” cholesterol in the blood.
5. Cranberry Juice
This is another instance where polyphenols illustrate their effectiveness in human health.
Research Conclusion: “The present results show that daily CJC consumption is associated with an increase in plasma HDL-cholesterol concentrations in abdominally obese men. We hypothesise that polyphenolic compounds from cranberries may be responsible for this effect, supporting the notion that the consumption of flavonoid-rich foods can be cardioprotective.” (26)
*We discourage the use of high-sugar cranberry juices found in most grocery stores, especially those which contain preservatives, colorings, and artificial sweeteners. Buying fresh organic cranberries and blending them into a juice or smoothie is a much healthier option.
Turmeric is a true superfood, and curcumin is a compound in turmeric that not only has been studied extensively, but found to have healing effects for a wide range of health issues – including various forms of cancer.
This should go without saying, but exercise is valuable in every human function. It is a genetic necessity.
♦ In one study, subjects were placed on a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and an aerobic exercise regimen. Interestingly, the diet had no effect on high cholesterol except for those in the exercise group who experienced “significant” serum LDL reduction (29).
This is just more evidence that cholesterol in food does NOT affect cholesterol levels in the blood.
Does any of this mean that we should use these foods to treat high cholesterol? No, because food is not a treatment for disease. It simply means that food contains many of the necessary nutrients the body needs for balance, optimal function, and healing.