By Suzanne Ridley | with Steve Eggleston
Welcome back to the Pura Nutrients Blog for our ground-breaking book, The Fast Diabetes Solution, a Holistic Formula for Reversing Diabetes and Living a Healthy, Happy Life, by Suzanne Ridley | with Steve Eggleston, and, our life changing Diabetes Recovery Program available inside our Diabetes Recovery Membership. This week, in Blog #5, we examine the perplexing misinformation circling the dietary world about fat, cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease, debunking the myths and strengthening the heart for a happy, healthy life.
First let’s start with some heartfelt facts. The generally trustworthy World Health Organization reports that heart disease takes more lives than any single force on earth. Of the nearly 60 million deaths annually, ischaemic heart disease and stroke take a combined total of nearly half or 30 million of them. By contrast, war and HIV don’t even make the top ten when it comes to death globally. In America, per the reliable Center for Disease Control, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease also remain strong top-ten contenders, inching higher each year.
And just so we’re on the same page, when we say heart disease we’re referring to coronary artery disease. Coronary arteries are the vessels which surround the heart and deliver oxygen-rich blood to the body, while veins bring oxygen-depleted blood back to the heart to replenish oxygen in the lungs.
Healthy coronary arteries are smooth and elastic like rubbery straws through which the
blood flows unimpeded. Disease begins where injury to the artery wall takes place resulting in the development of plaque. It is this plaque that causes narrowing of the arteries. Where the plaque is unstable and ruptures, a clot forms and may travel to the heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.
One major misconception is that fat is actually clogging the artery rather than plaque formation being the problem. The plaque develops due to the presence of inflammation caused by oxidation from such sources as oxidised or glycated (sugar-coated) LDL, cigarette smoke, chemicals, excess sugar, iron/copper overload, and so forth. So it is the oxidation that is the evil villain.
If this misconception were true, then we would expect to see significant reductions in heart disease, obesity, and diabetes (the major metabolic diseases) as we remove dietary fat from the diet, which we do not. For example, for many decades more and more low-fat foods have lined the grocery store shelves, yet metabolic diseases have worsened by the year, spawning a pandemic.
What we see instead is that countries which follow a Mediterranean diet enjoy the lowest rates of heart disease and generally longer, healthier life spans. These countries – principally Spain, Italy, and Greece – have eating habits that include lots of animal fat and protein from beef, pork, chicken, and fish, combined liberally with fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and healthy oils. We would not see these low rates if fatty foods caused fatty coronary arteries.
Many examples abound. Since World War II, the Japanese have consumed high volumes of saturated fats and protein, much from animals, yet are renowned for having the longest life spans. The most eloquent example is the Okinawans, known as the longest living centenarians on earth. Their low-sugar, low-grain diet thrives on cooking with lard (100% saturated fat) and gorging on fibrous vegetables like purple sweet potatoes known as taro. There’s even a saying that “Okinawan people eat every part of a pig, except for its cry…” Likewise, the Yemen Jews eat reams of animal fat and live long lives, while their Israeli neighbors die much younger after gorging on vegetable oils from the likes of margarine and processed foods (despite sharing very similar genetics).
It doesn’t stop here, however, so because of the misconception, it’s worth adding a few more examples to drive home the point (all of these dietary practices being nature’s ongoing science experiments). The so-called French paradox postulates contradictory truths (high-fat diet and low heart disease) but only remains a paradox if the misconception holds true that dietary fat increases the risk of heart disease. If the opposite is true, out goes the paradox and the truths become consistent and complementary (as truths tend to be).
Gascony, France, known far and wide for seasonal provincial cooking from fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, experiences a mere 80 deaths annually out of 1000 in middle-aged men, whereas by sharp and troubling contrast 315 of every 1000 middle-aged American men will die (mostly of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes). Then there’s the African Masai (made popular from the movie Out of Africa – the tall watchman) who feast daily on milk blood beef and don’t have any heart disease…as well as the Alaskan Eskimo, who historically ate mostly seal blubber and occasional berries with no incidence of heart disease until succumbing fatally to Western-style processed foods.
Another way to view it is to look at other undeniable trends that cannot be manipulated by studies whose outcomes are selectively sorted and influenced by corporate funding and capitalistic profit motives. Between the early 1900s and now, the American consumption of dietary animal fat has reduced some 20%, with much greater reductions in whole butter consumption from the unrelenting (even brainwashing) narrative that a low-fat diet is a healthy one. Yet, over that same time period, the risk of heart disease to the ordinary American has increased exponentially.
In fact, in direct correlation to that exponential increase in heart disease is an astonishing increase in the consumption of refined cooking oils like margarine, sunflower oil, safflower, and cotton seed oils that once were not part of the Western diet. But once we started cooking with them, they went everywhere and could be found hidden in many foods, often sitting in grocery stores for months, oxidising from the sunlight entering their plastic bottles. Being of vegetable origin, they had no saturated fat or cholesterol, so people were led to believe they were great alternatives to lard or butter.
At the same time, consumption of processed foods, carbs, refined flours, added sugars, and high fructose corn syrup soared, and were it not for the disinformation campaigns spewed forth by Big Food, Big Sugar, Big Corn, Big Alcohol, and Big Pharma (the Big Five), we’d all better understand the nutritional and physiological association for these strong, undeniable correlations that have been deliberately hidden or obscured.
Which brings us to the false and misleading narrative about cholesterol that has choked the mainstream media for decades (since that media is fed and paid for by the Big Five). Cholesterol, as you have read, heard, and absorbed into your intellectual cellular fabric for decades now, is frequently fingered as the culprit behind clogged arteries. The mainstream cholesterol narrative propagated by the Big 5 and their minions is that cholesterol per se – all cholesterol – is your enemy.
This is false, so let us explain why. A huge part of the cholesterol myth is premised on the distinction between LDL and HDL cholesterol. As the myth goes (and when I say myth, I mean the overwhelming, overpowering, controlling narrative – what you literally see every day, everywhere you look) posits the notion that LDL cholesterol is generally bad cholesterol and that HDL cholesterol is generally good cholesterol.
This is not only over-simplistic, it is wrong. And not only wrong, but dangerously wrong.
As elucidated to us by Dr. Robert Buist in his book on cholesterol, Love Your Cholesterol, oxidised cholesterol is the real issue at hand (not LDL cholesterol). Indeed, he emphasized that cholesterol was not only essential to our health and well-being, but to our very existence. Yet the message he so clearly taught has not reached the ears of mainstream medicine.
To be sure, there is a critical distinction in the two different kinds of LDL (or so-called bad) cholesterol. One kind of LDL is very bad, and the other kind is actually good. The bad LDL are the small, dense LDL particles that originate from polyunsaturated fats (i.e., oxidized Omega-6 fatty acids), and the good LDL are the large fluffy ones. The dense ones become highly oxidised and are taken into the macrophages, which create foam cells. It is the foam cells which contain the oxidised fat that makes up the plaque.
The large fluffy LDL particles via the LDL receptors are taken into the cells where their vital cholesterol is liberated. It is only the oxidised LDL that is incorporated into the foam cells which form plaques. So if you have lots of large, fluffy LDL, and only a few small, dense ones, you won’t develop heart disease. By viewing lipoproteins as carrier molecules highly influenced by diet, you can then understand that a diet rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, flavinoids, and so on, will naturally have more large fluffy LDL particles. By contrast, a diet devoid of these will be highly populated with dense and dangerous small LDL which also happens to carry little valuable cholesterol in general (the kind essential to life).
These small dense LDLs are the ones that contribute to the unstable plaque that attaches dangerously to the walls of the heart’s coronary arteries. This unstable plaque joins blood vessel damage from tobacco, foreign chemicals (OCs like pesticides, herbicides), heavy metals (like the lead once common in household paints), microbes, copper and iron overloads (causing hemochromatosis, i.e., Wilson’s Disease), and fatty acids.
The good LDL cholesterol are the thick, fluffy chunks which join with HDL cholesterol to provide the cholesterol that all human beings need for life. Cholesterol resides in the structure of every human cell wall, contributing mightily to a host of essential functions, ranging from hormone and vitamin D production to building the grey matter of the brain. Indeed, Dr. David Perlmutter tells us that low cholesterol increases the risk of dementia, and that the right LDL cholesterol is definitely your friend.
In 2009, the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism devoted a whole edition to covering the joint studies, opinions, and insights of experts from the World Health and Food Agricultural Organizations. When they looked carefully and in great detail at the association of dietary fats, physiology, and health, starting with the mainstream narrative assumption that there was a strong link between saturated fats and heart disease, they found the opposite of what mainstream would have expected: Saturated fats were not related or correlated to cardiovascular disease, adverse vascular events, or mortality…though the results barely caught the attention of the Big 5-controlled media.
Once again the world’s leading experts saw that God was in the details and the devil was in the mainstream myth. But gosh, how did it ever get that way, you might ask? How could the whole world swallow this sickly sweet, perplexing and misleading information that has taken literally millions of lives and limbs? In the next article, we answer those questions by turning to “The Truth Behind the Big Fat Lie That Has been Killing the World.”
Meanwhile, as always, the best approach to leading a life free of metabolic diseases is to eat a healthy diet mixed with regular exercise, intermittent fasting, and other holistic approaches as described in our book, The Fast Diabetes Solution, a Holistic Formula for Reversing Diabetes and Living a Healthy, Happy Life.
If you’d like more information about what it takes to reverse diabetes and live a life of diabetes freedom subscribe to our free diabetes mini course, or click this link to join our Diabetes Recovery Membership and take part in our Diabetes Recovery Program.