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Myths about Cholesterol


Hi. I’m Andy, co-founders of Foco Academy, functional health and wellness coaches. As the world starts to wake up to the new normal, a lot has changed so we are also tweaking the focus of our messaging on how to get ahead in this new environmental, this new world. We are still focusing on time, health, and relationships and we are still utilizing the same set of success principles. 

In the last episode “Brains-Eat this to fight and prevent Alzheimer’s”, I talked about the benefits of eating quality red meat, more specifically, the quality fats in the meats.

Our brains are made up of 70% fat therefore it makes sense to feed our brain with good fats.


As I talk about the benefit of fats, many viewers has asked me,  


What about cholesterol? 

Doesn’t a high fat diet increase cholesterol? 

My doctor told me that high cholesterol is dangerous and can give me heart attacks.


There was a lot of history behind the belief that fats are bad for your body. Conventional medicine has demonized cholesterol in general, which is why most medical doctors would recommend that you eat a low fat diet.


And when your cholesterol level is too high or your LDL, which is what they call bad cholesterol is too high, your doctors will prescribe you statins. Statins are drugs designed to lower your total cholesterol and LDL.


So what is cholesterol, and is it really unsafe to have high levels of cholesterol?


Actually, cholesterol is a very important hormone our heart and brains need for their essential functions and to  work properly.


And not all LDL cholesterol is bad for you. Only when LDL is oxidized that it becomes bad for you. 


When LDL gets oxidized, it  starts to build up plaque or deposits into your arteries and that is when cholesterol becomes dangerous for your body.


But the conventional cholesterol tests that your doctors get you to take cannot distinguish between good LDL and bad oxidized LDL. 


There are other, more specific tests that you can take that will distinguish the results of your good and bad LDL and measures the weight and number of those particles in your body. But that is usually not the test that your doctor will ask you to do in your annual exams.


To keep it simple, bad LDL are small dense particles and the healthy LDL is large light fluffy particles. Small and dense? It creates build up and clogs your arteries.

But large and fluffy? Well, it’d just move along your arteries and won’t cause any harm.


So, just because your LDL number is high, it doesn’t mean that you are at risk for heart disease. You may have lots of the large fluffy LDL which is really good for you.


Your body needs cholesterol to make cell membranes, hormones and brain cells. 


And cholesterol is especially important for man. Here’s why. If you are a man and you noticed that your sex drive is not what it used to be, it may be because of your declining testosterone levels. To make testosterone, you need cholesterol. 


Without the proper levels of cholesterol, your cell membranes, which are made of cholesterol, will stop functioning properly and you body will lose the ability to make coQ10 which is essential brain health and can lead to neurological problems.


A recent study published in Clinical Pharmacist, a Pharmaceutical Journal publication, studied people from multiple countries over two decades and found that high cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease and statins do not extend life span!

In fact this study found that the higher the cholesterol in older people, the longer they live!


Pretty crazy right, as scientific research becomes more available, what used to be known as true is now proven to be inaccurate. So if your medical doctor is still insisting that high cholesterol is bad, well, maybe they need to keep on learning.


So, if you think about this a different way, lowering your cholesterol may actually shorten your life span. And worse yet, are you aware of the side effects of Statin?


Some of the ‘COMMON’ side effects include muscle pain, memory loss, brain fog, heart failure and diabetes.


If you are at risk of getting type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is fairly high, taking statins raises your blood sugar and can make you diabetic. 


In either case, it raises your blood sugar so if you do not have a healthy blood sugar to start, this can be a problem, especially now since most people that died from Covid had diabetes or are pre diabetic.


Since cholesterol is used to build cellular membranes which is essential for cellular health, and Statins block the production of CoQ10 which is an important nutrient for the brain and the heart, no wonder people are getting memory loss, brain fog and heart problems when taking statins! 


Let me just stress that am not a medical doctor, and what I am quoting here are from my research and studies on how to live a healthier lifestyle. If you are on Statins, make sure you talk to your doctor before you consider to stop taking the drugs.


So to summarize, high cholesterol is not necessarily bad. It is only bad if you have higher numbers of the bad small dense oxidized LDL vs the good large fluffy LDL. 


And do high-fat diets raise cholesterol?


No, not all high fats raise cholesterol, its the bad fats that you eat like trans fats and hydrogenated vegetable oils that can cause bad LDL which are used in most restaurants and take out food.


But the biggest source of bad cholesterol is not actually caused by fats. The biggest source of bad cholesterol is caused by sugar. 


Sugar converts to fat in your body. And highly processed high fructose syrup is in almost all the processed foods that we eat and in most take out foods!


If you really want to live  a healthier lifestyle and have better heart health, I suggest you start by making more home cooked meals with whole organic foods with good fats, limit eating out or take out food to limit bad fats and sugar, exercise and get out more in Nature and sunbathe whenever you can!


On an added note, I like to recommended another food that I have heard doctors told you to limit to lower your cholesterol, and that is: eggs. Eggs are high in good cholesterol but since higher cholesterol is good for you, so are eggs. Eggs also has so many vital nutrients including riboflavin and lutein which helps boost brain health and eye health!


In the next episode, I will be talking about the one metric that everyone should be monitoring especially right now during the pandemic, you don’t want to miss it!


Until Next time Love What you Live and Live what you love


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