Heart Healthy Tips
This article is courtesy of
Dr. Al Sears MD
who is an authority on heart healthy diet, exercise and wellness research. Here he exposes the cholesterol myth which has been perpetrated on the public for the past thirty odd years.
Dear Health Conscious Reader,
I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. Cholesterol does NOT cause heart disease.
So why do I keep hearing about this crap?!
Dozens of books, including my
Doctor’s Heart Cure
, have thoroughly debunked this claim with convincing evidence from medical journals around the world.
Yet doctors continue to dole out statins (cholesterol-lowering drugs). Lipitor, the best-selling statin, pulled in $7.8 billion in 2008. Statin drugs as a whole generated $14.5 billion in the same year.
Last year I hired Tara Smith, RN as nurse practitioner here in my clinic. She’s trained in traditional medicine and has experience in alternative therapies. She’s a brilliant addition to my team. But even she had the same “cholesterol causes heart disease” belief when she started.
Below you’ll read about her remarkable turnaround, and not just in terms of her ideas or beliefs. Tara transformed her own blood and cholesterol levels. Not by taking statin drugs or eating low-fat food… but by eating fatty, delicious foods – everything the American Heart Association tells you to avoid.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Worried About Your Cholesterol? Don't Be.
by Tara Smith, ARNP
Throw that oatmeal away. Forget the Cheerios. Break open some eggs.
Traditional medicine has been telling you to lower your total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. They’ve completely ignored the bigger benefits of increasing HDL (good cholesterol) and lowering triglycerides (fat in the blood).
In fact, high HDL cholesterol protects the heart even if you have high LDL and total cholesterol levels. The Framingham Heart Study is the “gold standard” of data on heart disease. It proves beyond a doubt that high levels of HDL are directly related to lower coronary heart disease (CHD). And it shows that increased HDL can reduce heart disease independent of LDL cholesterol.
The study shows that lowering LDL levels is irrelevant in people with high HDL levels. In other words, if your HDL is above 85, you are at no greater risk of heart disease if your total cholesterol is 350 than if it's 150. High HDL trumps other cholesterol concerns.
Another study shows that for every 1mg/dL increase in HDL, there is an 11% decrease in heart disease-related death. By increasing your HDL by a mere 10 points, you can decrease your chance of dying of heart disease by 110%!
The even better news is that you don’t need a harmful, side-effect-ridden pharmaceutical drug to do this. I’m living proof.
In my early 20s, I fell for the low fat, pseudo-vegetarian “healthy” lifestyle. For years I deprived myself of healthy fats and much needed protein. I thought I was doing all the right things.
All the while I felt run down, my weight fluctuated, and my hair was thinning… not exactly the picture of health.
I was anemic because I wasn’t getting enough vitamins.
And my lipid panel wasn’t exactly the masterpiece I expected it to be. My triglycerides and LDL cholesterol were okay, but my HDL cholesterol was barely over 40 (borderline low) and my total cholesterol was too low, which can really affect hormone production. What a wake-up call!
Through my own research and with Dr. Sears’ guidance, I discovered the dangers of a low fat, essentially high carbohydrate diet.
Dr. Sears helped me with nutrition and supplement tips. And I immediately changed to a diet chock full of good fats, lean proteins, and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
In other words, a tastier and much healthier diet.
* I have more energy
* Thick, shiny hair
* And I’m leaner than ever
For those of you who need physical proof, here is my most recent lipid panel:
* Triglycerides: 78 mg/dL
* Total Cholesterol: 175 mg/dL
* HDL cholesterol: 94 mg/dL
* LDL cholesterol: 65 mg/dL
An HDL of 94! That’s amazing! I could have an LDL of 250, or better yet, a total cholesterol of 350 and still be considered low risk.
And a triglyceride level of 78 is even more incredible. Dr. Sears says he hasn’t seen triglycerides as low as mine outside of himself. He teases me that his are a spectacular 65.
If you have a triglyceride level no more than twice your HDL, you’re considered healthy. Mine is even lower than my HDL.
Not shabby for a girl who likes eggs and cheese for breakfast, steak for dinner, and would put almond butter on an avocado if no one was looking.
You can eat great food, not feel deprived, and have an ironclad heart to boot. This is what I do, and I give the same advice to my family and my patients:
1. Throw away any processed “low fat” or “fat free” foods. They’re full of sugar, salt, and other artery-clogging corn syrups and solids.
2. Make lean protein the focus of your meals and snacks. Lean beef, wild Alaskan fish, eggs, and poultry – grass fed, cage/antibiotic/hormone-free of course.
3. Get more of the good fats - avocados, oily fish, almonds, walnuts, seeds, eggs, and cook with olive or sunflower oil. And embrace raw garlic. Two to three cloves a day is ideal.
4. Eat plenty of above-ground vegetables and moderate amounts of low-glycemic fruits – berries, cherries, peaches, and plums. Always add a protein when snacking on fruit.
5. Find a form of exercise you enjoy and be consistent. I recommend Dr. Sears’ PACE Program
. It’s not only effective, it is highly adaptable, achievable, and can be done in just minutes a day.
So forget about dangerous statin drugs and the low-fat advice you’ve heard in the past and adapt a lifestyle and diet that will actually boost your HDL cholesterol, lower your triglycerides, and strengthen your heart. I’m confident you will find it to be quite liberating.
DISCLAIMER: THE CONTENT AND INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS E-NEWSLETTER ARE FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT MAY NOT BE CONSTRUED AS MEDICAL ADVICE, AND WE DO NOT INTEND FOR THIS INFORMATION TO BE USED TO DIAGNOSE OR PRESCRIBE FORMS OF TREATMENT.
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