Author: Dr. Michelle Durkin on 14 February 2017
Have you ever tried to get somewhere using the wrong map? That is exactly what most people are doing when they are trying to lower their cholesterol following mainstream nutritional advice. Eat only egg whites, eat margarine not butter and whatever you do don’t eat red meat! Unfortunately this misguided nutritional advice is going to get you nowhere, just like reading the wrong map.
Cholesterol is a repair molecule in the body and is necessary for cell function, hormone production, and Vitamin D production. Yes necessary. There is scientific evidence that suggests you are actually more likely to die of low cholesterol than of high cholesterol. Interesting isn’t it?
So if cholesterol is a necessary molecule in our body, why does it go up? The short answer is the body is trying to fix something. Because cholesterol is a repair molecule it is going to start making more of it to try and fix that it.
But what is that something it’s trying to fix you ask? The answer is one word. Inflammation. Chronic inflammation is now implicated as the underlying cause of several chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and autoimmune diseases. That is when I test someone’s blood cholesterol, I also test an inflammatory marker called C-reactive protein.
Now here is the really interesting part. What foods in your diet stimulate that inflammation? More often than not the underlying trigger is too much sugar or food sensitivities. And when I say sugar I am also including all processed, refined food carbohydrates like cereal, bread, crackers, bagels, pasta, rice, and anything that has the words low-fat or no fat on it. Once digested these foods are sugar in your bloodstream. The sugars travel to the liver after being absorbed and stimulates the liver to make more cholesterol. That’s right, sugar in your diet, not fat, stimulates your liver to make more cholesterol.
Yes that means you should eat the eggs and butter but not the toast. Eat the steak but not the pasta. Have it with plenty of vegetables instead. Get almost all of your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits in your diet and very little to none from grains. Avoid processed, refined foods that have artificially produced fats (that means margarine) and high fructose corn syrup. Your liver will thank-you for it.
Remember, high cholesterol is a warning sign that something is wrong. It is not a symptom that needs to be suppressed by medication, especially if you don’t know the cause.
Now I would love to hear from you. Have you ever followed the wrong road map to try and lower your cholesterol? What is one thing you can change in your diet to start lowering inflammation? Leave a comment below and share this article with any family members or friends you think could benefit. I look forward to next week with another edition of Doctor as Teacher Tuesday.
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