Heart disease is the primary cause of death for both women and men in the United States. The better news? It also happens to be probably the most preventable.
Choosing, heart-healthy alternatives, knowing your risk factors, family heart health history, getting steady check-ups and managing your numbers with your doctor are all important elements of saving lives because of this often silent killer.
According to the CDC 73.5 million adults (31.7%) in the United States have high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol.
Pretty high isn’t? No worries, though– I have good news for you. High cholesterol may not be all that bad after all, and I am going to show you what I, and other people like YOU are doing to prevent and reverse plaque build-up, while maintaining good cardiovascular health; naturally.
Now, when I say don’t panic, I don’t mean you should run to the nearest doughnut shop and indulge. Those days are over. You must make life style changes to see results, especially if your total Triglycerides are high. (You’ll learn about the ideal lipid cholesterol and triglycerides levels further down in this article so keep on reading… )
Let’s first learn why high cholesterol is no longer a tragedy:
Why High Cholesterol is No Longer Linked To Heart Attacks
In his article The Cholesterol Myth Dr. Sinatra explains the high Cholesterol misconception:
- The hypothetical link between high levels of total cholesterol and heart disease has NEVER been proven. It’s a diagnosis conjured up to serve drug companies who want to sell cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
- Cholesterol levels are a poor predictor of heart attacks. Only about 50% of heart attack victims have high cholesterol levels, and 50% of people who have high cholesterol do not have heart disease.
- Recent studies suggest statin drugs are associated with a higher risk of diabetes, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. 
Dr. Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist with over over 30 years of experience under his belt, whose integrative approach to treating cardiovascular disease has revitalized patients with even the most advanced forms of illness
Now let’s learn about cholesterol and the reason why we need it…
What Is Cholesterol
If you fear cholesterol and the diseases associated with it, I have more good news for you. Cholesterol is actually essential for our organs, especially the brain. I did extensive research and updates to this article to confidently break it down for you, besides all of the resources, supplements, and natural therapies that absolutely work to keep your cholesterol levels in check.
Cholesterol has been commonly considered a “dangerous kind of fat”, undesirable for the human body. Actually, it is quite the opposite. It is a lipid, steroid (not exactly a fat) essential for the body. Cholesterol paves the way for the production of vitamin D (including those who supplement get about 90 percent of their vitamin D from the skin) steroid hormones, myelin and tallow.
Update: Cholesterol in itself is not bad for the body, indeed, is essential for life. Contrary to popular belief, cholesterol is not “good” or “bad.” What can be good or bad are the lipoproteins that it forms. There is high density cholesterol which is better than others, depending on the proteins with which it is combined.
Cholesterol has been labeled as the villain and culprit to heart disease. However, everything we all knew or at least for the past 40 years about Cholesterol is all wrong.
In his book “The Great Cholesterol Myth: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease-and the Statin-Free Plan That Will“, with nutritionist Jonny Bowden, Ph.D. Dr. Sinatra debunks the myth that Cholesterol is the culprit to heart disease, CAD and other cardiovascular diseases. Diet and stress are among the top factors that raise cholesterol levels, specially a diet rich in trans fats, can cause cholesterol levels be out of balance.
Dr. Bowden and Dr. Sinatra concluded that the root cause of plaque and cardiovascular disease are: Chronic Inflammation and SUGAR.
Cholesterol is required by the body to produce essential hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone. Foods that are high in trans fats (anything fried in vegetable oils) and sugar increase the risk of stroke and heart disease. Therefore, it is rational to remove most pastries and processed foods that are usually made with margarine and laden with sugar and trans fats.
Make better choices, eat more vegetables and Low glycemic index (LGI) foods that balance your cholesterol levels and minimize the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The Lethal Combination Of Cholesterol, Sugar And Chronic Inflammation
Numerous factors can contribute to high blood cholesterol, but we now know that high cholesterol isn’t the main issue. Recent studies point to lack of stress management, a poor diet from sugar, processed foods, trans fats, and environmental toxins as the the major culprit of plaque build up. Other factors such age, ethnicity, and family history play a role as well.
A diet high in sugars, processed and fried foods, can increase the level of triglycerides which are a kind of fatty substance produced by the liver, and reduce good cholesterol, also known as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL). However, the formula for the development of plaque goes something like this:
A diet high in processed foods (sugar/vegetable oils + )+ Chronic Inflammation+ Cholesterol = Plaque
Certain diseases, such as chronic kidney or liver problems, hypothyroidism, can raise the level of LDL, triglycerides, thus increasing the risk of high cholesterol.
Drinking too much alcohol can also raise triglycerides and blood cholesterol levels.
Do you or someone you know was diagnosed with “high cholesterol”? What steps have you taken to balance your cholesterol levels to import cardiovascular health?
To your best health,
Renouned Integrative medicine Cardiologis: Dr. Stephen Sinatra http://www.drsinatra.com/the-great-cholesterol-myth  http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/11-foods-that-lower-cholesterol http://www.drsinatra.com/what-kind-of-cholesterol-testing-is-best http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/foodnut/09333.html
http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/heart-healthy-diet http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Cholesterol/Pages/Causes.aspx Image source: www.forquestions.com