Cholesterol and dietary fat and their impact on heart disease are a lighting rod of contention nowadays. We have discussed this in the forums on SHF and I have personally been debating this with my family members and I am sure it may even be a topic of discussion among friends and family within the Herman Nation.
This is such a controversial topic because the drug industry makes 30 billion a year selling Statin drugs to lower cholesterol and the U.S. medical establishment is trained how to treat disease states with drugs not how to find the root cause. Instead of having tons of references and footnotes, I have included the top recent articles from the Internet discussing this topic and supporting my claims.
Many of the studies that claim cholesterol and fat are the enemy are more observational than conclusive. It is like saying “all fire fighters cause fires because we always see them at a fire” or “weights cause muscle growth because all muscular people are around weights.” We know that fire fighters don’t cause fires but rather stop them and we know that LIFTING weights causes muscle growth not the weights themselves.
Even the vaunted Framingham Heart Study of which my grandparents, parents, and sister are in found that people with the highest cholesterol levels lived the longest. I believe in order for people to make an informed decision they need ALL the facts not just the ones the people of interest want us to see. Take the information for what it is worth and formulate your own opinion. This article is my opinion on this subject:
Man Made Sugar and Fats Are The True Killers
Back when us “baby boomers” (those born before 1965) were growing up and back when our parents or grandparents were younger, most meals were home cooked and serving sizes where much smaller. With the advent of food chemical technology that began with Du Pont in the mid-1950’s, the increase in world population, and the decrease in time people have due to busy lifestyles, technology has been leveraged to meet the demands for food.
Two of these technologies developed are man-made sugars and fats. The reason they were invented was to increase shelf life and reduce production costs as well as make the food palatable since most of the fat and cholesterol were being removed based on the erroneous assumption which is the topic of this article.
Man-made sugars are corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Pure cane sugar and fructose from fruit in their natural states are fine. Corn syrups are not found in nature and are foreign to your metabolism. The reason diabetes and metabolic syndrome are at epidemic proportions in the U.S. is because our pancreas and metabolisms are forced to process this foreign sugar in excessive amounts. It hides everywhere. It is not only in sweet foods but also foods like cold cuts, salad dressings, bacon, and other foods you would never expect to have sugar. ALL processed food has man-made sugars in it. You need to be educated in chemistry to some extent to know all the legal names food companies use to “hide” it in the food we eat.
The second man-made substance is Trans Fats. Trans Fats are similar in chemical structure to plastics. They are made by adding extra hydrogen atoms to the carbon and hydrogen atoms that naturally constitute fats. This is called “hydrogenation”. They do this to keep natural fats in foods from going rancid and to increase shelf life.
Whenever you see “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” in the name of a food ingredient, it is a Trans Fat. Again, this is a fat that does not occur in nature and is foreign to your body and metabolism. Even products listed as “Trans Fat Free” aren’t always and here is why. Food companies are smart, as they have found a legal loophole in the FDA’s food label requirements – serving size.
When you look at a processed food item, you assume that it is one serving. You need to do the math. Most often an item contains 5 or more servings. What the manufacturer does is take the smallest food sampling size that makes the fat, sugar, salt, and trans fat numbers look the lowest and list that on the label. It is perfectly legal. The Government says that anything less than 1% is legally considered “free” of that ingredient. If you multiply all the nutrient numbers by the total number of servings, you can see how easily “Trans Fat” free or “low sugar” foods suddenly are not. The problem is that Trans Fats are so deadly even consuming 1-3% a day increases your risk of heart disease. The suggested serving sizes are not what 99.9% of the people will eat in one sitting.
Cholesterol and fats are important and necessary nutrients for health. Your brain is 25% cholesterol and ALL your hormones are made from cholesterol. Your liver naturally produces it and has a feed-back loop such that the more you eat in your diet the less it produces and visa versa – just like if you take steroids your testes decrease testosterone production and then increase again when you stop taking them.
Your important fat-soluble vitamins like E, D, A need fat to be absorbed as well as all your body cells need fat and cholesterol to maintain their cell membranes. We have all seen the results of this low fat, low cholesterol mantra with the increase of memory issues and dementia, low testosterone levels, mood issues, some cancers, and general malaise.
The dramatic increase of sugar consumption, especially the man-made kind, has caused an epidemic in diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, metabolic syndrome (a term which never existed prior to 1955), and certain types of cancer - the URL links below in this article further discuss all these claims. We are being hit with a double whammy – we have drugs lowering essential cholesterol and eating foods lower in essential fats at the same time we are eating more foods with refined and man-made sugars devoid of nutritional and metabolic value. Is it any wonder our bodies are becoming more diseased and weakened?
The bottom line is you need to make a decision based on all the data presented. My personal view is that if fat and cholesterol really were the root cause of heart disease (excluding smoking), people would have been dropping dead by the millions throughout the history of man.
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