Cholesterol meds are for dummies

Cholesterol 101

Cholesterol is the mother of all hormones. It is produced and regulated by your body, and is responsible for a host of bodily functions. It is a necessary component of every day life.

Cholesterol is a critical component of cell membranes, the precursor to all steroid hormones, a precursor to vitamin D, and the limiting factor that brain cells need to make connections with one another called synapses, making it essential to learning and memory.

Here’s a few examples.

Brain function

[1] In the late 1990s and early 2000s, research was pointing to an unknown compound made by glial cells that was responsible for the ability of neurons to form synapses, or connections between each other.

Thoughts, memories, learning, and all mental function is dependent on the formation of synapses, so the ability to form them will directly impact mental functioning and health.

In the absence of this– as yet unknown– “glial factor,” neurons formed few synapses, and the synapses they formed were inefficient and poorly functioning. In the presence of glial cells, which secrete the unknown factor, neurons formed many, highly efficient synapses.

So what is this “glial factor”?

Research in 2001, by Mauch, et al., published in volume 294 of Science magazine, determined that the unknown glial factor is cholesterol, which is released by the glial cells in a carrier called “apolipoprotein E.”5

Steroid Hormones

Cholesterol is the precursor to all steroid hormones, including:

  • Glucocorticoids (blood sugar regulation)
  • Mineralcorticoids (mineral balance and blood pressure regulation)
  • Sex Hormones (many functions)

Cholesterol is the precursor to a hormone called pregnenolone, which has important functions itself, but is also the precursor to all other steroid hormones.

Pregnenolone is converted to progesterone, a sex hormone, which in turn is converted into cortisol, which regulates inflammation and blood sugar, aldosterone, which regulates mineral balance and blood pressure, or testosterone, a type of sex hormone referred to as an androgen, which regulates libido, muscle mass, and plays other roles.

In females, and to a lesser degree in males, testosterone is further modified, undergoing conversion to estradiol, a different type of sex hormone called an estrogen.

Harvey et al., Biochemistry: 3rd Edition, Baltimore: Lippincott, 2005, pp. 235-238.

Vitamin D

Since cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol will also inhibit the synthesis of vitamin D. Since sunlight is required to turn cholesterol into vitamin D, avoiding the sun will likewise undermine our ability to synthesize vitamin D. And since vitamin D-rich foods are also rich in cholesterol, low-cholesterol diets are inherently deficient in vitamin D.

Vitamin D is best known for its role in calcium metabolism and bone health, but new roles are continually being discovered for it, including roles in mental health, blood sugar regulation, the immune system, and cancer prevention. Yet standard modern advice — take cholesterol-lowering drugs, avoid the sun, eat a low-cholesterol diet — combined with a recommended daily intake of vitamin D that is only a tenth of what many researchers believe to be sufficient all seems to pave the way for widespread vitamin D deficiency.

Perhaps that’s why, according to Dr. John Cannel, President of the Vitamin D Council,most whites and nearly all blacks in modern society are deficient in vitamin D.


Cellular Helth

[2] Surrounding each of our cells is a membrane called the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is a continuous double-layer of phospholipids, interweaved with cholesterol and proteins. Phospholipids are composed of two fatty acids attached to a phosphate compound as a head.

The phosphate head is water-soluble, also called “hydrophilic” (water-loving), and the fatty-acids are water-insoluble, or “hydrophobic” (water-fearing). Since outside the cell is a water-containing, or aqueous, environment, and inside the cell is also aqueous, the phosphate heads of the phospholipids face both the cell’s inside and the environment outside the cell, while the fatty acids face the inside of the membrane.

Without cholesterol, cell membranes would be too fluid, not firm enough, and too permeable to some molecules. In other words, it keeps the membrane from turning to mush.


Cholesterol does not play a role in Heart attack, stroke, or atherosclorotic plaque formation

Read the clear and detailed explanation [here] Near the bottom of that page. It outlines exactly how plaques form. I’ll give you a hint…it’s not related to cholesterol at all.

Side Effects of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs

The list of statin side effects is a long one. Known side-effects of statins include muscle weakness and/or pain (myopathy), liver damage , kidney failure and cataracts. It gets worse. Statins inhibit CoQ10 synthesis. Statins also cause memory loss, transient global amnesia, and lowered sex drive. Low cholesterol has even been strongly linked with diabetes and cancer

And it’s not surprising, given that cholesteol is responsible for so many critical bodily functions (see above). And side effects are likely much more common than is actually reported, yet cholesterol itself appears to play no functional role in heart disease.The FDA also issued a new warning against statins because of the occurrence of side effects.

But What About the Studies?

Most of the studies are produced and funded by the same corporations that make statins, and it’s a multi billion dollar industry. They are rife with conflicts of interest. They are heavily biased towards “positive results”. They even continue to lower the “standard for healthy cholesterol levels” so they can justify prescrbing it to children. What an industry!

Many of the studies done only look at the fact that the drugs were able to lower cholesterol. But a closer look at any of them will show you that heath either declined or did not improve. Now we can see this deception, because we understand that cholesterol has noting to do with it!

The studies that attempt to link high cholesterol with heart disease are only epidemiological, which means they are nothing more than surveys that attempt to make correlations between two variables. And as any good scientist will tell you, CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION!!! Not to mention, the correlations are often weak with little supporting evidence.

Epidemiological studies are incapable of drawing conclusions and proving causation. You can not discover a factual mechanism of action by utilizing an epidemiological survey. All these people are doing is linking ice cream sales with murders. Ice cream sales correlate very strongly with murders, but this does not mean that we should ban ice cream, it means that more murders happen in the summer time. A very simple but effective example of the drawbacks of “survey studies”.

Stop Popping Pills!

New studies continue to punch holes in the cholesterol/heeart health hypothesis. It’s becoming abundantly clear that we are going about it the wrong way. But the system (health insurance, doctor salaries, pharmaceutical industry) has a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. It’s true that it’s difficult to get a man to see the truth when his salary depends on ignoring it.

Taking statins may reduce your cholesterol, but the effects on health are negative. You will be weak, fat, and stupid, if the low cholesterol levels don’t kill you first. (Or if you don’t kill yourself first because your dick doesn’t work anymore…)

Dublin S, et al. Statin use and risk of community acquired pneumonia in older people: population based case-control study. BMJ 2009;338:b2137

Benati D, et al. Opposite effects of simvastatin on the bactericidal and inflammatory response of macrophages to opsonized S. aureus. J Leukoc Biol. 2010;87(3):433-42

Hippisley-Cox J, et al. Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database BMJ 2010;340:c2197

Bacon is a health-food

Bacon is mostly fat. Healthy fat.

47% of it is monounsaturated oleic acid. The same that is in olive oil.

3% is monounsaturated palmitoleic acid. This has valuable antimicrobial properties.

40% is saturated, the reason that bacon fat is so relatively stable and unlikely to go rancid under normal storage or cooking conditions.

The high saturated content is important, because it helps protect the rest, which is the remaining 10% in the form of unstable polyunsaturated fats.

Pork fat also contans a large amount of choline, an antioxidant that is superior to vitamin E. Likely the reason that lard and bacon fat are very stable and not prone to rancidity from free radicals.

If the bacon comes from pastured pigs (which all animals should be), it’s full of vitamin D, as long as the pigs were allowed to play outside in the sun.

Edit 5/15/12: Like humans, pigs can get sunburned and, like humans, they make vitamin D through the action of sunlight on their skin and store the nutrient in their fat. Pigs raised in confinement will die if not exposed to UV-B light, the wave length needed for vitamin-D production.

What about the CHOLESTEROL???

As we would expect, the good fat in bacon comes with cholesterol, a “no no” according to the Food Police, and yet another reason for bacon’s dangerous reputation.   The evidence against cholesterol causing or contributing to heart disease, of course, is inconsistent, contradictory, misinterpreted and sparse.  It’s oxidized cholesterol  — as found in the powdered milk and powdered egg ingredients used for processed, packaged and fast foods, including low-fat and non-fat milks  — and oxidized lipids (unstable polyunsaturated fats) that contribute to heart disease, NOT CHOLESTEROL.

Also, as biochemical textbooks make clear, cholesterol is the mother of all hormones, including our reproductive and mood hormones. Thus bacon’s cholesterol content may be part of the reason it enjoys such a reputation as a “feel good” food!!

What about the SALT???

Animals seek out salt licks, paleo people eat and drink salty blood and other animal parts, and biochemists point out we need sodium and chloride for blood, sweat, tears, mucus and semen.  Textbooks make all of this abundantly clear, yet U.S. government guidelines recommend drastic reductions in salt intake.   Sadly, low-salt diets increase the likelihood of heart disease, hypertension, cognitive decline, osteoporosis,insulin resistance and erectile dysfunction. no-salt-limp-dick-syndrome sounds like no fun for either party involved!!

What about the nitrites and nitrates???

We get more nitrates from our own saliva. This notion of ‘nitrite-free’ or ‘organically cured’ meats is a public deception. Traditionally bacon was cured by adding sodium nitrite salts directly to the meat.  Today’s manufacturers of  “nitrite free” brands add celery salt, which is about 50 percent nitrate, plus a starter culture of bacteria.   This transforms the nitrate found naturally in the celery salt into nitrite, which cures the meat.    Although manufacturers label this bacon “nitrite free,” this method actually generates more nitrite from the celery salt than would ever be added as a salt.   Indeed, “nitrite free” bacon can have twice the nitrite content of bacons cured directly with nitrite salts.

There still seems to be some debate over what happens when you cook with nitrates, but cooking food creates all kinds of things, like minute amounts of carcinogens and such. In the whole scheme of things I’d wager that whatever nitrosamines get created from heating nitrates is marginal and insignificant.

Researchers have consistently found carcinogenic nitrosamines in fried bacon, but the bacon studied almost certainly comes from factory farms. Fatty acid composition has a big effect on nitrosamine formation, and factory-farmed pigs routinely eat feeds that include inferior oils.

Nitric Oxide!!

Cured bacon with nitrite increases circulating NO levels in our blood. This is a good thing. It’s vital for a long healthy life. Traditionally cured meats are the best source. Beets too.

NO is a signalling molecule in the cardiovascular system. When produced by our blood vessels from nitrite, it signals the surrounding arterial tissues to relax. This lowers blood pressure, expands narrow blood vessels, eliminates dangeous clots (you’ll have none if you are eating Paleo), and reduces plaque formations on arterial walls. NO also reduces triglyceride levels.

NO optimizes circulation and affects every bodily system. More blood flow. More oxygen transfer. Better energy. Better brain function and attention. And more blood flow means better sex life. (NO is also a key ingredient in many erectile dysfunction meds, and workout supplements). NO also helps the immune system fight off infections, and helps brain cells communicate more effectively. Want more? Just do a quick PubMed search! There are myriad benefits to NO!

So Nitrates and Nitrites aren’t dangerous???

Nitrates are natural products of the nitrogen cycle and found in water, plants and animals.   Nitrites are naturally present in saliva, in the gut and indeed in all mammalian tissue.  In short, nitrites are not a problem, provided our diets are rich enough in antioxidants to facilitate the conversion of nitrites to NO and to prevent nitrosation reactions that convert nitrites into carcinogenic nitrosamines.    It’s also obviously important to avoid eating readymade sources of nitrosamines, such as occur in soy protein isolates , non-fat dry milk and other products that have undergone acid washes, flame drying or high temperature spray-drying processes. 

Why does everyone think bacon aint “all that”?

Why do fats and cholesterol get the shit-end of the stick?   Bad studies and worse publicity, with the latest “study” out of Harvard a prime example (Just Google “red meat increases death”).  These “studies” show only a weak association with evidence that is inconclusive.

Science is catching up. The media is always going to be far behind, and is always going to mis-interpret the results. Of course our hunter-gatherer ancestors got it right from the beginning!

Stick to pastured animals, free ranging, not grain fed. Traditionally cured, not injected, machined, processed, or whatever.

How Bad is Saturated fat and Cholesterol? The Final Word.

The conventional idea that saturated fat is bad is now very outdated and incorrect.

Polyunsatruated fats are highly unstable and oxidize very easily, which is the actual cause of atherosclorosis and heart disease.

Cholesterol is a moot point. It actually has nothing to do with heart disease whatsoever. It is also a myth that eating cholesterol will increase blood levels of cholesterol. (Understand that HDL and LDL particles are not cholesterol, they only contain cholesterol. Cholesterol itself really does not play a functional role in forming atherosclorotic plaques, and is in fact a necessary nutrient in our bodies).

Saturated fat is actually protective, because it increases protective HDL particles, while increasing the size of the LDL particles, making it more difficult for them to infiltrate the arterial wall and contribute to forming atherosclorotic plaques. The saturated nature of Saturated fat also makes it very resistant to oxidation, since all available carbon bonds are tied up with a hydrogen atom (Saturated fat has no double bonds). Monounsaturated fats share this trait as well.

Plus, saturated fat is the method our bodies use to store excess energy, which is an evolved survival mechanism for our hunter-gatherer ancestors when times were tough. Obviously, saturated fat plays a very important role in Human survival.

Polyunsaturated fat contains two or more pairs of double bonds without hydrogen atoms occupying the open space, and it’s the carbon that lies between the double bonds that is wide open to oxidation.

Yes, this means fish oil supplemetation is not as protective as is commonly believed. It’s benefits have been vastly exagerated.

Therefore you should only eat the whole food. Consuming fish as a food will ensure the other nutrients (vitamins, antioxidants) are in place that may protect you from the oxidative damage of excess PUFAs. It’s important to note that all studies showing the benefits of fish oil supplementation have been less than 2 years, and the one that lasted 4 years showed an increase in heart disease and sudden death. So don’t supplement! Eat the whole food!


These double bonds allow systemic inflammation to develop, because the more Polyunsaturated fat you have circulating in your system, the longer it is allowed to “hang out” on the small dense LDL particles, leaving lots of time and opportunity for it to oxidize. Once the LDL particles are oxidized, they become smaller and penetrate the arterial wall, where they initiate the atherosclorotic process:

The membrane of LDL contains polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which are highly vulnerable to oxidation. Cells continuously make antioxidant enzymes and other antioxidant compounds to protect their membrane PUFA. If PUFA start to oxidize, the cell ramps up its antioxidant production. When the liver packs cholesterol into a VLDL particle and secretes it into the blood (where it eventually becomes an LDL particle after delivering some of its nutrients to other tissues), it puts some antioxidants into the package. The PUFA have now left the comparative safety of the liver cell and have only a limited supply of antioxidants. When those antioxidants are used up, the PUFA begin to oxidize, and their oxidation products proceed to damage other components of the lipoprotein. When the oxidation becomes severe, the oxidized LDL winds up in a foam cell in an atherosclerotic plaque.

So? Saturated=Good, Polyunsatruated=Bad.

What foods should we eat? What should we avoid?

This easy to follow list of foods should form the foundation of your diet. It’s the easiest way to avoid inflammation and promote health, lean body mass, and mental clarity.

How do arthersclorotic plaques form?

Here is how most doctors and “health professionals” will have you believe is the process by which “cholesterol and arterycloggingsaturatedfat clogs your arteries”


It shows cholesterol flowing through the blood and just glomming on to the inner lining of a blood vessel as if it were grease clogging up a pipe.  Is that how it happens?  Not at all.

Growing evidence supports the role of local and systemic

inflammation as a common pathophysiological

mechanism in different cardiovascular diseases, including

congestive heart failure or CAD (coronary artery

disease). Indeed, it is well established that atherosclerosis

is an inflammatory disease [33]. [reference]

First of all, the plaque grows behind the layer of the blood vessel in contact with the blood, not on top of it.  The plaque develops within the inner and outer walls of the blood vessel:

The proinflammatory cytokines aggravate plaque instability by inhibiting extracellularmatrix synthesis and promoting smooth muscle cell apoptosis. IL-8, a CXC chemokine produced by neutrophils, smooth muscle cells and ECs, induces the migration and proliferation of ECs and smooth muscle cells. [reference]

Second, the plaque doesn’t initially progress inward to obstruct the blood vessel.  It initially progresses outward, pushing backwards into the middle of the blood vessel:
It doesn’t begin occluding the blood vessel until it’s already occupying about 40 percent of the blood vessel wall.  What happens to make it start occluding the blood vessel?  It appears to be the successive rupturing and re-healing of highly inflamed plaques:
On the left we see a secondary plaque forming on the surface of an initial plaque that had ruptured.  On the right we see that the worst plaques may have as many as four sites of rupture and re-healing.
 In lay-terms, these plaques develop as the surplus of circulating LDL (you ate too many polyunsaturated fats) particles begin to oxidize and cause inflammation. The LDL are small and easily infiltrate the arterial wall. Macrophages within the arterial wall induce an immune response by “gobbling up” the oxidized LDL into “foam cells” that begin to expand and eventually lead to rupture and heart attack.
This discussion only covers inflammation as it relates to atherosclorosis. In this post, I get into how inflammation relates to other problems, like obesity and depression.

So, in conclusion 

  • Saturated fat is good, because it increases protective HDL and increases the size of the LDL. It’s also a good source of energy, and highly resistant to oxidation.
  • Cholesterol is also good, because it is a health-promoting substance. It is a critical component of cell membranes, the precursor to all steroid hormones, a precursor to vitamin D, and the limiting factor that brain cells need to make connections with one another called synapses, making it essential to learning and memory. 
  • Polyunsaturated fat is bad, because it makes the LDL particles smaller, and is easily oxidized, leading to inflammation and atherosclorotic plaques that form within the cellular walls of the blood vessel, leading to buildup and rupture.

You may also want to read:

Paleo/Primal diet is a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. And that’s a good thing…

What the heck is inflammation? How does it affect me?

Paleo for one year. Understanding the Paleo concept.

Meal timing for stubborn fat loss. Intermittent Fasting.

Paleo/Primal Diet is a High Fat, High Cholesterol Diet. And That’s a Good Thing.

Dietary fats are necessary for life. Cholesterol is necessary for life.

People often ask me how I look so good and emanate such heath, even though I eat tons of “arterycloggigsatruatedfat”. Probably the most vilified nutrient in the world of conventional wisdom, saturated fat always gets a bad rap. But is it really as unhealthy as the “officials” tell you? It’s been pounded into your brain from birth, so it’s obviously very difficult to fathom saturated fat as actually being HEALTHY. Lets try.

  • Everything you’ve learned about saturated fat is wrong.

Saturated fat (saturated fatty acids) are resistant to heat damage, shelf spoilage, and are essential to many bodily functions. The best parts of the animal, like organ meats and liver, contain SFA’s along with necessary fat soluble vitamins A D and K2.

Saturated fats are called “saturated” because all the available carbon bonds of the SFA are tied up with a hydrogen atom. This means there are no “openings” for rancidity or oxidation. That’s a good thing.

Hmmmmm. “So Dan, you’re trying to tell me that SFA’s are RESISTANT to oxidation? AND their high in essential nutrients?” BINGO! Compared to polyunsaturated fats which contain two or more double bonds without hydrogen, which are WIDE OPEN to oxidation, saturated fats are like, super awesome! Keep oxidation in mind, because this comes up later…

Saturated fat is your body’s primary energy source. By design, we store all excess calories as saturated fat for later use. We evolved this way to store energy for later, because as hunter-gatherers, food was not always available. When you exercise, or when you are fasting, you are literally consuming large amounts of saturated (and monounsaturated) fat, as your body begins to release it from adipose tissue for energy. Keep in mind, this would have been crucial for survival during lean times in the paleolithic era.

So, stored fat is your energy reserve, and dietary fat is used for immediate energy. So to say saturated fat is bad, is to say that evolution “got it wrong” and our bodies somehow over hundreds of thousands of years, developed this highly dangerous and unhealthy method of energy storage and consumption. YAH-fucking-right. How stupid do these “officials” think we are, anyway? Ever heard of Darwin and natural selection? All the traits that made us successful, healthy human beings have been carefully selected for across those 100,000 years of evolution. I think the “officials” have got it all wrong.

  • Everything you’ve learned about cholesterol is wrong

Cholesterol is created in your body, and is completely regulated by your body. This means that as dietary cholesterol goes up, your body down-regulates its own production. Also, as dietary cholesterol drops, your body up-regulates its production of cholesterol to keep everything within an optimal range. This means that dietary cholesterol has no effect on serum cholesterol. This also should tell you that cholesterol is A NECESSARY SUBSTANCE IN YOUR BODY! You need it to create vitamin D from sunlight. Your body also needs it in order to produce vital nutrients like Co Q-10 and testosterone.

It’s hard to believe that something so important as cholesterol has so easily been vilified in “conventional wisdom”, especially when most quality statistical analyses show that cholesterol ISN’T EVEN WEAKLY CORRELATED WITH HEART DISEASE!

cholesterol cardiovasc men

The observational data that attempts to link cholesterol with heart disease really never adds up from a proper statistical standpoint. What about the physiological process by which cholesterol causes disease? The “officials” can never come up with one (I’ll tell you a secret, that’s because there ISN’T one!).

What it comes down to, is that every study that finds any link (no matter how weak) between disease and fat/cholesterol/protein/whatever is purely an observational study. These aren’t controlled studies. These are often studies in which dietary information is acquired from questionnaires asking people about their dietary habits for the last five years. These are average, everyday populations. Busy people like you and me, and they’re expected to remember their exact dietary habits for the past five years? Fucking-puh-lease! Also, many developing countries’ data comes from medical directories wrought with classification error, because they have not developed the same standards of documentation and review that we have in the United States. Low medical standards allow some practitioners to file unexplained deaths in an arbitrary category. They might just as well label someone as dead from “heart failure”, when they really had no idea what caused the death, or it could have been some other cardiovascular problem not really related to heart failure, but it was “close enough”. This throws huge inaccuracies into the data when we look at certain countries used in an epidemiological study. “The China Study” is a really good example of this.

One more thing. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. I can correlate murder rates with ice cream sales, but that does not mean ice cream causes murders! It means that something else is related, like the fact that more crimes happen in the summer! OMFG!

  • Everything you’ve learned about heart disease is wrong

Ever wonder how your arteries get swollen and clogged? What’s the actual process that causes heart attacks and stroke, and makes us fear saturated fat and cholesterol? Why is the statin industry making so much god-damned money? Why do we have to take so many pills just to stay healthy? Why can’t we just eat the food we love? Why do we have to avoid fats and cholesterol and count calories and and and……

IT’S ALL BEEN A BIG FAT LIE. [Check out this post for more info: How bad is saturated fat and cholesterol? The final word.]

Here’s how your arteries actually get clogged. I’ll give you a hint. OXIDATION! Finally, the biological process by which our arteries harden and get restricted, explained in scientific clarity. Here, I’ll leave it up to Mark Sisson to explain this one:

In my recent post on blood lipids, I briefly summarized Chris Masterjohn’s ideas about heart disease. Namely, that heart disease is a problem of macrophages (cells that like to gobble up lipids and other things) in the endothelium (arterial wall) receiving oxidized (damaged) LDL and forming atherosclerotic plaque, which is then vulnerable to rupture. Regular LDL is not the issue; only oxidized LDL gets taken up and turned into plaque. Okay, sounds good (or bad), but how does inflammation figure into all this?

The inflammatory response and subsequent oxidative stress load is ultimately responsible for the oxidation of the LDL, while inflammatory cytokines produced at the atherosclerotic site can weaken and loosen the plaque, thus setting the stage for (and even causing) a rupture. In fact, inflammation is intimately involved in nearly every aspect of heart disease.

Read more: 

Wow, that’s good stuff! So it looks like inflammation causes oxidation causes inflammation causes plaque causes rupture, causes more plaque, causes hardening and swelling of arteries, causes eventual constriction of arteries. Well DUH! After all, it wasn’t just a bunch of fat floating around in your “tubes” clogging things up like those doctors wanted you to believe! That’s a pretty laughable explanation, considering that fat doesn’t just float around in your arteries!

  • So, to summarize

 The conventional wisdom sucks, so we should all start eating like animals! yay.

  • Saturated fat is strongly resistant to oxidation and is a vital source of nutrients and energy.
  • Cholesterol does not cause heart disease, and is a vital and necessary precursor in many bodily functions and nutrients.
  • Epidemiological studies are really bad at predicting cause and effect. In fact they are downright USELESS.
  • Oxidation causes Inflammation causes heart disease.

Cool! Now I can stop worrying about all that cholesterol and saturated fat. But what do I worry about now???


Read my next installment about PUFA’s and how they cause inflammation…

This post summarizes the method of PUFA oxidation as it relates to atherosclerosis…

This post describes inflammation and oxidation as it relates to health…

Why You Should Eat Cholesterol and Saturated Fat.

Don’t eat less cholesterol. Don’t eat less fat. Eat more whole foods.

Whole real foods work in harmony with your body. Focusing on macronutrients just causes confusion, and takes your focus away from the big picture.

Fatty foods like Eggs and liver contain plenty of fat, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals. They also contain choline, a necessary B vitamin which also prevents fatty liver disease. This makes perfect sense, because the more fat you consume, the more choline your body needs. Nuts contain antioxidants, which also makes sense, because they contain pro-oxidants such as omega-6 fatty acids.

When a controlled scientific study analizes single isolated nutrients, in the absence of the whole food, it does not give us a complete understanding of the real-world outcome. Especially when they aim to mislead us. This account in Science Daily attempted to blame “saturated fat” intake on fatty liver disese in pregnant “mothers” and their “children”. What they didn’t tell you, is that the “mothers” were mice, and the “saturated fat” diet they were fed actually contained 44 percent of its fat as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and almost twenty percent of its total calories as PUFA. This is in great excess of the PUFA consumption seen even in the Standard American Diet (SAD), loaded in processed PUFA-rich vegetable oils.

It’s funny, really. Especially when you consider these studies that show saturated fat as being PROTECTIVE AGAINST FATTY LIVER DISEASE. [1] [2] [3] [4]

What’s most fucked up, is what is said by one of the researchers of the study himself!

Professor Christopher Byrne, with colleagues Dr Felino Cagampang and Dr Kim Bruce, of the University’s School of Medicine and researchers at King’s College London, conducted the study, funded by the BBSRC. Prof Byrne explained: “This research shows that too much saturated fat in a mother’s diet can affect the developing liver of a fetus, making it more susceptible to developing fatty liver disease later in life. An unhealthy saturated fat-enriched diet in the child and young adult compounds the problem further causing a severe form of the fatty liver disease later in adult life.

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t buy too much into studies, especially news article interpretations of those studies. There is conflicting evidence everywhere, and the peer review process isn’t that great. So use your best judgement and read into the details yourself. Make sure the researchers don’t have a hidden agenda, or a predetermined outcome. And make sure the “diets” they feed the subjects, rat or human, are what they say they are.

What’s the moral of the moral of the story? Fuck studies. Eat whole foods. Ignore the bullshit government advice to avoid saturated fat and cholesterol. It doesn’t make any sense. And stop eting ground up sawdust with vitamins added to it (grains). While you’re at it, stop guzzling floor polish (veggie oils).