cholesterol and atherosclerosis

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So I had a PCI to put in a few stents. Doing great. But I'm on statins to lower my cholesterol (which was never really all that high). My question is about diet and cholesterol. Recent findings suggest that high cholesterol foods do NOT increase blood cholesterol. The bad stuff for blood cholesterol is saturated fats. So now we're told to avoid saturated fats AND foods that are high in cholesterol. Why the latter? Either dietary cholesterol makes a difference in blood cholesterol, or it doesn't. Truth, anyone?

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  • Posted

    Dietary cholesterol has much less of an effect on the level of cholesterol in your blood than the amount of saturated fat you eat. In fact eggs which have high dietary cholesterol and were once considered bad for raising blood cholesterol are now deemed healthy and good in moderation for those with cardiac issues. The more we learn, the more confused we get eh. IE some saturated fat is good, some is bad. Fat from milk and yoghurt for example is good - it is processed differently by the body to that from meat etc. Trans fat is also not good - eg palm oil (which is a hidden ingredient in an astonishing amount of products which would otherwise not be considered unhealthy - eg peanut butter and vegan products) and not only is palm oil bad for health, its also devastating for the environment - avoid at all costs. Aim for mono-unsaturated fats - theyre the good guys.

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    • Posted

      OK, I understand all that about fats, but the issue was IF dietary cholesterol doesn't affect blood cholesterol, why are we cautioned about it? If I understand your response, what you're saying is that dietary cholesterol DOES have an effect on blood cholesterol, but not as much as bad fats. Is that what's going on here?

      Good point about trans fats, which are actually unsaturated fats, but they can be partially hydrogenated, which is bad.

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    • Posted

      Quick answer - yes. Dietary cholesterol does have an effect but not as much as originally thought and nowhere near as much effect on blood cholesterol as other factors - eg eating saturated fats, trans fats, other lifestyle choices such as not enough exercise, smoking, etc etc.

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  • Posted

    Dan,

    From the original 1950s research by Ancel Keys, 'the 22 countries study' which was badly flawed as Keyes cherry picked 7 countries which suited his beliefs and ignored the 15 which disproved his cholesterol theory. From this study cholesterol started to grow to become the big killer, it really took off in the 1980s until we find our selves in this cholesterol nightmare.

    Last November new regulations were issued for doctors to back off prescribing statins, as first line treatment, due to muscle problems and dementia caused by them. Doctors should now be telling people to exercise etc., first.

    Our bodies need saturated fat, as 75% of cholesterol is made by the liver, I think it is dangerous to take pills to stop this production, it must alter the bodies function and of course cholesterol goes up and down over the day, week etc.,

    I believe everyones body is individual which in turn means everyones cholesterol is different levels, doctors have been telling us for years it must all be the same and have been lowering the levels to give more statins.

    This is really to give you an insight into cholesterol history and not to worry about it.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Jen. Here's hoping the unacceptable influence the pharmaceutical industry has over prescribing practice starts to wain. Reducing the 'perfect' cholesterol score to aim for was, as has been clinically proven now thank god, merely a money spinner for statin producers who were losing money every time their drug went off patent, so they needed to up the number sold. To the patients' detriment - shame on doctors for being swept along with it. I have chronically high cholesterol - last measure around 9. My hubby never has had high cholesterol but earlier this year had a heart attack and it was discovered he had four major arteries blocked, not due to cholesterol problems. which of us would have been chomping down statins, obviously not him.

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    • Posted

      Loxie,

      What has been coming out in the last few years regarding blocked arteries is calcium. People have too much apparently especially if they supplement as well. This is a subject I am keeping my eye on, it actually makes sense for calcium to harden. Our bodies are wonderful things when kept in balance, all vitamins and minerals need each other to work. Magnesium is needed by everything, magnesium helps activate vitamin D which helps regulate calcium.

      Sorry, I do get carried away but, the more I learn, the more I want to know.

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