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The Cholesterol Myth

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The Cholesterol Myth

What you don't know about "cholesterol-free" diets can hurt you. Cardiovascular diseases are now costing Canadian medicare about 19 billion dollars annually. High cholesterol levels are blamed for blocked arteries and heart attacks.

Cardiovascular diseases are now costing Canadian medicare about 19 billion dollars annually. High cholesterol levels are blamed for blocked arteries and heart attacks. Strangely, there is no scientific data to justify this theory, but there is significant data to destroy it. Still the theory controls public health policy and healthcare information.

Throughout history, the local medicine man, shaman, or tribal doctor has controlled health related knowledge to ensure his position of power and wealth in the community. Modern organized medicine has not abandoned this highly profitable business practice. Indeed, exploitation of public funds for profit is a worldwide medical practice. The cholesterol myth illustrates how disinformation and misinformation exploits the system.

Misinformation

The Minister of Public Works and Government Services produces a flyer called Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. To reduce cholesterol, the flyer advises people to eat more cholesterol-free grain products. It shows pictures of "wholesome" foods: white bread, hamburger buns, pasta, white rice, crackers, and macaroni. It even recommends sugar-laden canned fruit.

The emphasis of the flyer is to avoid eggs, meat and dairy products. Numerous other publications and newspaper articles support this concept so we are all more or less indoctrinated into believing that low cholesterol diets are beneficial for our health.

One of the textbooks used in medical schools is Harper’s Review of Biochemistry by Drs Martin, Mayer and Rodwell. Medical students are taught that cholesterol is produced in animals that metabolize foods using oxygen. Plants do not produce cholesterol, therefore all foods derived from plants are "cholesterol free." Margarine and hydrogenated cooking oils are typical examples.

However, the text also explains that over 70 percent of blood level cholesterol is produced in our body from the carbon found in sugars and carbohydrates from plants. Less than 30 per cent of blood cholesterol comes from eating animal products containing cholesterol. Eggs, animal fat and dairy products such as butter and cheese are not even mentioned as a significant source of cholesterol.

Natural animal proteins and animal fats can be easily oxidized and broken down as long as they have not been hydrogenated. Fats derived from seeds used in making bread, pasta and "cholesterol-free" foods have been saturated by the hydrogenation process. It is precisely the hydrogenated oils and processed carbohydrates and fats we are advised to eat that cause the high cholesterol levels we are striving to avoid.

The public is being misinformed about the true source of cholesterol. The fact that cholesterol occurs in animal products does not equate with high cholesterol from eating animal products. This information is taught in medical school biochemistry classes but virtually ignored in information for the public.

A More Significant Problem

Cholesterol is one of many "sterols" in the human body. Sterols are essential for forming hormones such as testosterone, estrogen and adrenal hormones that control how our body functions. There are many types of sterols. Lack of essential oils for production of these hormones is far more serious than the small amount of cholesterol the body produces from foods containing cholesterol. That’s why people who ignore recommended "cholesterol-free diets" and consume eggs, meat, butter and dairy products continue to enjoy good health.

Barry Sears, PhD and Bill Lawren in their book called Enter The Zone write that our diets should consist of 30 per cent natural fat, 30 per cent protein and 40 per cent carbohydrates. The fats and proteins are essential for controlling the rate of entry of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. Without the essential oils in fats, the cells cannot make the essential hormonal group called eicosanoids that control virtually every physiological function in the cells and organs. Moreover, without the fats, a rapid rise in blood level carbohydrates results in increased insulin production and problems of too much insulin in the blood. Insulin removes excess carbohydrates from the blood and stores it as fat. The fatter you are, the more likely you are to have a heart attack. The more carbohydrates you eat (in excess of the 30-30-40 zone), the more likely you are to suffer from excess weight, diabetes and insulin deficiency.

Dr R.P. Murray’s Basic Guide to Understanding Clinical and Laboratory Tests explains that there is no proof that high levels of cholesterol play a part in heart disease and that the good and bad cholesterol concept is only a theory as well.

He concludes the theoretical "safe" and "dangerous" readings by reference to The Cholesterol Conspiracy by Russell L. Smith, PhD and others. They quote Dr George V. Mann, professor of medicine and biochemistry who emphatically proclaims:

"Saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet are not the cause of coronary heart disease. The myth is the greatest scientific deception of this century, perhaps of any century."

The lack of essential fats in your diet is more dangerous to your health than cholesterol in your food. A high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet contributes to an overweight problem. It’s not only what we eat, it’s the ratio of fat protein and carbohydrates that counts.

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