LifeHakx - The Answer to "Cholesterol is bad and eggs are unhealthy."
By Eva Wisenbeck 26/01/2020
True or False? Cholesterol is bad and eggs are unhealthy.
Truth: You need cholesterol to survive. And, eggs are not the enemy, they are super healthy. As a plus eggs (the yolk so please eat the whole egg!!) are full of choline, a B-vitamin, which is a very important for the body.
Solution: Enjoy organic free-range local eggs and
monitor cholesterol ratios and particle sizes.
So what is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy lipid gracing every cell’s membrane and our blood plasma. Its jobs, which are many, include insulating neurons, building and maintaining cellular membranes, metabolising fat soluble vitamins, producing bile, and kick-starting the body’s synthesis of many hormones, including the sex hormones. See why we need cholesterol now?
Still not sure… Simple, your body can’t survive without it. In fact, a cholesterol level of 160 mg/dL or less has been linked to depression, aggression, cerebral haemorrhages, and loss of sex drive.
Time to bust some myths!
Eating Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Raises Cholesterol Levels in the Blood?!
Nope, much of the cholesterol that’s found in food can’t be absorbed by our bodies. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.
Yes there are exceptions, 25% of the population are referred to as “hyper-responders”. In this group, dietary cholesterol does modestly increase LDL and HDL, but it does not affect the ratio of LDL to HDL or increase the risk of heart disease.
What we now know matters most is the type of fat you eat, not the amount. Trans-fats and refined vegetable oils promote abnormal cholesterol profiles; whereas, omega 3 oils from fish and monounsaturated fats found in nuts and olive oil can actually improve the type and quantity of your cholesterol.
Also don’t lose sight of this, yes, trans-fats and damaged fats are unhealthy, but the biggest culprit of abnormal cholesterol levels is not fat at all.
It is sugar in all its many forms!
And what about when it comes to measuring and keeping track?
Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol, are not accurate predictors of cardiovascular risk. The most recent research has shown that these markers, total and LDL cholesterol, are not strongly associated with heart disease.
The ratio of total-to-HDL cholesterol as well as non-HDL cholesterol, which is similar, are better predictors than total cholesterol or LDL cholesterol, but they are nowhere near as predictive as some of the newer markers like LDL particle number, which in turn itself isn’t as predictive as lipoprotein(a), or Lp(a). These markers, they tell us something different than the standard lipid markers.
Lipid markers, even the good ones, are only one part of the puzzle when it comes to quantifying overall risk. We need to look at things like family history, inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein, fibrinogen, Lp-PLA2, oxidized LDL, metabolic markers, so things like fasting insulin, fasting glucose, fasting leptin, post-meal blood sugar, hemoglobin A1c, and a variety of other markers that tell us what’s happening with metabolic function.
Hypertension and smoking are two of the strongest risk factors for heart disease, hands down, so those of course should always be looked at. Diet, lifestyle, stress, nutritional status—either not enough of nutrients like vitamin D or too much of a nutrient like iron can increase the risk of heart disease.
There are other types of testing that look for objective evidence of plaque accumulation, like a calcium score and CIMT and they provide a different angle. And status of the gut microbiota, there is an increasing amount of research that shows that this plays a significant role in heart disease also.
So where does statin drugs figure in all this?
It’s worth noting that many researchers believe that whatever good statin drugs may do has much less to do with their ability to lower cholesterol than their ability to lower inflammation, which is indeed a definite risk for heart disease (as well as a component of Alzheimer’s, obesity, diabetes and cancer). But we can lower inflammation quite effectively with naturally anti-inflammatory foods such as apples, onions, wild salmon and also supplements such as fish oil, quercetin, curcumin etc, not one of which has the side effect profile of statin drugs. Statin drugs can also introduce a whole host of problems including muscle damage, memory issues, Parkinson’s-like symptoms, and muscle aches and pains. Very concerning is that we now know that statins can increase risk of diabetes by about 50 percent.
If you are currently on statin I highly recommend doing some more reading and research and having a discussion with your doctor about why you take them, and together evaluating the benefits and possible side effects specifically for you and your situation.
Here is a great short video with Dr Mark Hyman, one reason I'm sharing it is because it's from 2013! I just wanted to show that this is not new research, it just take a long time to filter through to mainstream and even longer for it to become part of conventional medicine.
And here is another incredible video featuring Dr Aseem Malhotra giving a talk at the European Parliment. Now yes this is a long one however I think it might forever change how you view and assess health and current medical systems.
"Last week, Aseem Malhotra addressed the European Parliament to talk about the complete nonsense of the current dietary guidelines. Also, the power of the Nutritional and pharmaceutical industries to distort those guidelines and drive the use of more and more medications. I recommend that everyone has a look."
This is based on a wonderful article by the great Dr Josh Axe and his roundup of “The 11 Largest Nutrition Lies In the Media” for more details and links to the research papers and studies please look here: https://draxe.com/health/nutrition-lies/
If you are curious and would like more information about the whole Cholesterol debate and the latest research here are some great resources.
Mark Hyman “6 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol, Or Why You Should Stop Your Statins Now!”
Dr Malcolm Kendrick ” A talk by Aseem Malhotra to the European Parliament”
Mark Hyman “ 7 Ways to Optimize Cholesterol”
Mark Hyman “ Why cholesterol may not be the cause of heart disease”
Chris Kresser “The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy”
Chris Kresser “Why You Should Eat More (Not Less) Cholesterol”
Chris Kresser “The Diet-Heart Myth: Why Everyone Should Know Their LDL Particle Number”
Chris Kresser “What Causes Elevated LDL Particle Number?”
Chris Kresser “The Diet-Heart Myth: How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Naturally”
Mark Sisson, Mark’s Daily Apple “The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol”
Jonny Bowden “The myth of lowering cholesterol”
Dr Sinatra “ The Great Cholesterol Myth”