There seems to be a growing trend in the debate about cholesterol and heart disease. We’ve been led to believe that cholesterol is bad. But what is cholesterol? According to the American Heart Association cholesterol itself isn’t bad. It actually keeps us healthy. It’s interesting to note that most of the cholesterol in our blood is produced by our bodies. Some research indicates that consuming cholesterol in food has little effect on the cholesterol level in our blood.

atherosclerosisAccording to the Wikipedia definition cholesterol is an essential structural component of our cell membranes. It’s critically important to memory and sex hormones. If you search for the definition on Google you’ll find many websites that define cholesterol but also state that high levels can cause heart disease.

The American Heart Association states on their website that HDL is the good kind of cholesterol and LDL is the bad kind. However, I’ve heard that there are several types of HDL and LDL and some of the so called bad LDL is actually harmless. New research is emerging. A cholesterol test that may be a better indicator of heart disease is the LDL particle size test. This test measures the quantity of type A LDL and type B LDL. The type A LDL particles are larger and less harmful. The type B LDL particles are smaller, denser, and harmful.

This video showing Dr Manny from Fox News interviewing Dr Jonny Bowden gives you a brief explanation of this new and changing belief about cholesterol and it’s role in heart disease.

If it’s true that cholesterol is not the villain it’s been made out to be then what causes heart disease? The common answer that we are hearing is inflammation brought on by dietary sugar, trans fat, and stress.

Statin drugs are widely used to lower cholesterol. These drugs can cause side effects like memory loss and sexual problems like ED. Apparently the side effects are under reported.

The new and partially controversial theory is that cholesterol is not the problem. This belief seems to be increasingly accepted by doctors and it’s getting more popular.

This new theory includes some different recommendations for lowering your risk of heart disease. Rather than consuming vegetable oils it’s OK to consume some saturated fat foods such as eggs, meat, and other dairy products. Use moderation of course. The big difference is to avoid sugar and carbohydrates. Also avoid trans fats which are present in fast food and processed food. Consuming more fruits and vegetables is always recommended no matter which theory you follow.

If you’re interested in reading more about the great cholesterol myth, or the great cholesterol lie, which are two of the book titles that explain this new theory in a bit more detail check my recommendations page.

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