Cholesterol- It sure can be controversial, due to a Scientist named Ancel Keys.
To Saturate or Not? The controversy comes as to which fats are bad for you. The CDC says saturated and trans fats (from animal products) are bad for your arteries, and you should limit them. The other (keto) side of it says that pro-inflammatory oils (like vegetable oil and canola oil) are bad for your arteries, and you should use coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. Both sides agree that too much sugar and too much salt (especially table salt) can raise cholesterol and inflammation.
We recommend only eating lean meats, salmon, and some chicken/turkey, as well as using good anti-inflammatory oils to cook with (avocado, coconut, and olive oil). We don’t recommend canola or vegetable oil because its high in Omega 6 which can increase inflammation.
We also recommend getting your cholesterol checked when you reach age 20, getting at least 20-30 minutes of exercise or fun sweaty activity in daily. Quit smoking- this ONE thing is such a HUGE contributor to cholesterol problems. We can dispense any approved prescription medication or nicotine replacement (patches, gum, etc) without you having to see a doctor first, and it is still covered on your insurance. Eat high fiber foods like fresh veggies and fruits.
Watch your blood sugar! If you are diabetic- or have insulin resistence (including PCOS women!), you are oxidizing your fats and will have higher cholesterol!
Calcium is a big issue with forming plaques, and no one seems to talk about it. Is your parathyroid working properly? Have your PCP check your PTH and calcitonin levels when you are having your cholesterol labs drawn. What form of calcium is best to take? We prefer calcium citrate, because most people with high cholesterol have an acidic pH and calcium citrate helps.
Bottom Line: Think of your cholesterol level as a marker for how much inflammation is in your body (blood vessels and cardiac system). When you have inflammation (from too much salt and sugar, injury, joint pain, stealth pathogens, or organs that are being attacked)- your body pulls calcium from the bones and teeth and sends out cholesterol to patch up any areas that are being affected. When the calcium and cholesterol meet up in the blood, they can form plaques, which increase the risk of clots, heart attacks, and strokes, and cause hardening of the arteries (usually blood pressure starts to change at this point).
You can decrease fatty meats you are eating (bonus points for grass-fed free-range meats), increase the fiber, fruits, and veggies you consume, decrease your processed sugar and salt foods (aka fast food), and drink more water. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water daily can decrease cholesterol by up to 40%. Quit smoking (if you need help, we're here. Book a session to quit right here), and don’t drink alcohol (it’s rough on the liver, which makes cholesterol). Start to exercise daily, and find healthy ways to manage your stress (not by drinking or smoking, but try some deep breathing, art, journaling, or axe throwing..whatever works for you!) Get tested, and get your inflammation down. Start taking fish oil or red yeast rice to decrease the inflammation, and if you take the most common prescription meds- you HAVE to take CoQ10 with it! Ask us how we can help you meet your goals and live your best life!