Have you been diagnosed with high cholesterol and prescribed a statin drug to lower your cholesterol and risk for heart disease? I can’t tell you to come off your medications, but I can educate you and help you understand cholesterol. This information could save your life. We have been told to avoid saturated fats and cholesterol. But since we have been given that advice, obesity and heart disease has become an epidemic in this country.
Total cholesterol does not matter. Total cholesterol alone doesn’t determine you risk for heart disease. What matters are the number and size of the particles that carry the cholesterol throughout the body. When you are told that you have a high cholesterol, that means that your particles contain a high amount of cholesterol. If you have low cholesterol, you have a low amount of cholesterol inside the particles. Allow me to explain this with an analogy. Think of a car as the particle and the people inside the car as the cholesterol. In a traffic jam, what matters the most? Is it the number of cars that matter or the number of people inside the cars? It is the number of cars (the number of particles that matter).
Size does matter. The size of the particle does matter. There are large particles and small particles. The small particle causes the most concern, but it is extremely overlooked or not even addressed at all. The small particles get into the arterial walls and oxidize, forming plaque and causing inflammation. This process of oxidation is the main factor in heart disease. The bigger particles do not get into the arterial walls and oxidize. Therefore, it’s the small particles that put you at risk for heart disease. The total number of particles, including large and small, can be an indicator of toxicity. When these numbers are out of balance, sugars, bad fats and toxins are usually the culprits. This is why toxicity and inflammation are the causes of heart disease and not total cholesterol.
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