For decades, mainstream medicine and health professionals have regarded cholesterol as the enemy of circulatory health. Yet, in the last few years a number of outspoken medical and health professionals have courageously put their reputations and careers on the line to shatter this myth.
Why? These doctors want their patients to get out of the perpetual cycle of sickness and into prevention and wellness. And, they want the public to know the truth about what really causes heart disease…and it’s definitely not what you would think.
How did this myth begin?
Since the earlier part of the 20th century, doctors have been rallying around the idea that cholesterol causes heart disease.
In 1913, Russian researcher Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch fed cholesterol to rabbits and made the conclusion that their cholesterol levels went up (with no acknowledgement whatsoever that cholesterol is not a normal part of a rabbit’s diet).
And the idea that plaque deposits collecting in the blood vessels due to diet was born.
At the same time, companies like Proctor & Gamble were busy creating products that would replace animal fats as a way to increase profits. Read the full story of how this famous company single-handedly turned an engineered substance into a food that was introduced to kitchens in the early 1900s through clever campaigns and to this day is still found in a large percentage of processed foods on the market, and which has been heralded as a “heart-healthy” alternative to real, wholesome animal fats.
The Framington Heart Study which began in 1948 and is ongoing looked at a link between the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol levels. A survey was taken in Framingham, MA where 6,000 people answered questions about diet and lifestyle. Researchers observed that individuals with weight problems and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk to develop heart disease.
But actually, not all individuals in this study had high cholesterol levels. And yet, just those few who did were the ones which caused the skewed results of the study to be widely publicized. What was not revealed about those who were at higher risk was that many of these people also had sedentary lifestyles, consumed a high carbohydrate diet, smoked, and also had high cholesterol. What is not commonly told is that the more cholesterol and saturated fat people consume, this actually lowers their cholesterol levels.
The work of Dr. Ancel Keys is often cited as proof that cholesterol is harmful to heart health. In 1953, he published a well-known study which became the basis of support for the Cholesterol Theory. His Seven Countries Study made a connection between heart disease and dietary fat. What is not acknowledged is that any study he looked at which didn’t go along with his hypothesis – especially those consuming low-fat diets and which also had a strong connection to mortality from cardiovascular disease – was excluded from the final results! It’s also important to know that his full study included data from 22 countries – also excluded because it didn’t fit with what he wanted.
The result was that the health communities rallied around this false study and started campaigning to remove all animal fats from the population’s diet: red meat, eggs, butter and other dairy, and anything that was perceived as “artery clogging”. It is this and the Framington Heart studies which have been largely responsible for starting and perpetuating the lie that cholesterol causes heart disease.
Dr. Stephen Sinatra
In the book, The Great Cholesterol Myth, cowritten with Johnny Bowden, Ph.D, the failed theory that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease is debunked. They explain why saturated fat is good for your health and why it “helps to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, improving your triglyceride/HDL ratio—a key marker of cardiovascular health.”
He says to eat beef – and to make sure it’s grassfed beef, butter, nuts, and eggs. These foods are not only okay for us to eat, but vital to health! He also whole-heartedly agrees that vegetable oil is to be avoided – which is damaged during high heat processes in both manufacturing and in cooking. These oils are almost always from GMO sources, and are too high in Omega 6s – which cause excess inflammation in the body and is found in too high amounts in the Standard American diet. He also agrees that we should definitely be using extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil in our diets.
Although I am not a fan of Dr. Oz, he did a recent interview with Dr. Sinatra and Johnny Bowden that you should watch:
Part I and
Dr. Dwight Lundell
A heart surgeon with 25 years experience, Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. has brought the truth to light by admitting that for years he towed the party line in treating heart disease as a condition that was caused by elevated blood cholesterol due to dietary intake of saturated fat. He also reveals that anyone who went against using prescription medication for treating this issue was considered insubordinate and to do so could “possibly result in malpractice.”
Dr. Lundell also founded the Healthy Humans Foundation to help people break out of the cycle of reactive medicine which treats disease with drugs and surgery, to forward the principles of truly healthy diets and real prevention of chronic disease.
Listen to Dr. Lundell’s interview on Jimmy Moore’s site Livin La Vida Low-Carb. Also read The Cure for Heart Disease by Dr. Lundell.
Still not convinced that saturated fats are good for our health?
Answer this important question:
Why are disease rates so high – obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and related conditions of Metabolic Disorder? If saturated fat is the enemy and we are told to avoid it, wouldn’t that correspond to a decrease – rather than an increase in these health conditions? This is because the Standard American Diet is replete in processed foods including a lot of sugar and refined carbs, very few real, whole foods that are from healthy, organic, and sustainable sources which have good bacteria, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.
Sugar is one of the biggest enemies of heart disease, found in various studies and health professionals which reveal the connection between regular consumption of refined sugar and health problems:
The profound research of Dr. Weston A. Price – a dentist and nutritionist who traveled all over the world to 14 different countries for a decade of time during the 1930s, discovered something similar: that all healthy populations were eating diets of indigenous, local foods – including almost TEN times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins from animal and bird foods. These foods were not treated with chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or GMOs. These groups of people were healthy, robust, and free of physical and mental disease.
In contrast, those civilizations that did experience chronic disease were those who had introduced the following substances into their diets: vegetable oils, white flour, and white sugar.
Read Dr. Price’s groundbreaking book (available in its entirety online), Nutrition and Physical Degeneration for more information.
What’s the real scoop on red meat and mortality rates?
The importance of dietary fats
10 replies on “Dr. Sinatra & Others Speaking Out – Cholesterol is Not the Cause of Heart Disease”
Thank you, for sharing! Really appreciate the good read, and pertinent data for health benefits via eating right. Looking forward to more great things to come.
Very important post – I wish everyone would read it. Superbly researched and written, as always!
Thank you Stanley! I always value your comments and support. 🙂
Great article and quotes, except for the mention of vegetable oils as a taboo. Hydrogenated and heat processed or overheated vegetable oils are the main problem. Cold pressed olive oil, flax seed oil, and hemp oil are healthy. Virgin cold pressed coconut oil is even considered a saturated fat, and it’s a vegetable source. We don’t need to pick on animals so much for healthy fats, really.
Paul – all vegetable oils are a problem because the very way they are processed at extreme high heat temperatures to get them into the bottles in the store causes them to go rancid and contain too many Omega 6s (yes, canola, soy, corn, cottonseed, and others) to make them liquid. Shortenings and fake butter spreads are hydrogenated to be made a solid at room temperature and should be avoided. None of these products are traditional oils/fats that were ever consumed by historic populations until the Industrial Revolution came along.
Olive oil and coconut oils are healthy as they are traditional oils that have been consumed for thousands and thousands of years. Flax seed is less so as its Omega 3 content cannot be trumped by real, traditional fish oil (not to mention fish oil is the world’s most potent and bio-available source of Vitamin D). Hemp is not a traditional oil.
Animal fats are staples of the human diet. They contain far-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 which are essential to all aspects of health and which are largely missing from the industrial, Standard American Diet. This is what Stephen Sinatra and Dwight Lundell are trying to tell us – that we’ve been mislead by conventional medical authorities.
All vegetable oils that are processed, heated, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated are bad for you. Cold pressed is different. Good olive is cold pressed as are healthy coconut oils, flaxseed oils, palm oisl, and hemp oils. Those are ALL vegetable oils. That’s my point.
It’s processed vegetable oils that are the problem. Cold pressed oils are healthy. Call it traditional or whatever – they are still vegetable oils that are not made toxic with various heating/hydrogenating processes to ensure longer shelf life.
So you cannot say ALL vegetable oils are a problem. It’s only the commonly purchased cheaper processed oils that most tend to use, including most processed food manufacturers and distributors.
Paul – all vegetable oils are a problem excluding olive oil and palm oil, both are traditional oils that have been eaten for thousands of years. None of the other vegetable oils I mentioned have been consumed traditionally – they are all chemically produced, most are GMO, and are already rancid on the shelf. It’s the very nature by which they are processed plus the fact that they are not traditional oils that makes them harmful. No one consumed canola oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, soybean oil or peanut oil a hundred years ago. The very nature of how those oils are produced is not through cold pressing nor traditional means – they are most often produced with hexane and other harsh chemical procedures, with high heat and pressure. Those are not healthy, no matter how much you want them to be.
Hemp oil is also not a traditionally consumed oil. Flaxseed oil has been consumed, but it’s a polyunsaturated oil and goes rancid very quickly on the shelf, and the Omega 3s which are so highly recognized as being beneficial to health are best obtained from sustainable animal fats and foods like grass-fed meats, pasture raised poultry and eggs, raw butter, cream, and milk, and seafood.
Cold pressed doesn’t automatically mean traditional, the definitions of those are not mutually exclusive. A traditional oil is something that has been consumed for thousands of years. Cold-pressed oils can still be the vegetable variety.
Yes, I can say that all vegetable oils are a problem for the reasons I outlined already. Olive oil is not technically a vegetable oil. It’s a traditional oil that’s been consumed for thousands and thousands of years. Those typically classified as vegetable oils – canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed oil, peanut, safflower, sunflower, etc. are not traditional oils and have not been consumed by traditional people. It’s when these fake, rancid oils that are highly processed through chemical and high heat processing came on the scene during the turn of the 20th century that disease like cardiovascular issues really began to increase. look at the timelines and you can see the numbers rising. Cottonseed oil is the grandfather of vegetable oils, and its history is easy to look up. It was invented by a chemist working for Proctor & Gamble who created it in response to the meat embargo where the price of most meat products went up and the company needed a cheap solution to producing soap & candles – which were formerly made from lard and tallow from animals (fat). When the chemist invented this substance, it looked so much like lard they decided to try and market it as a new “healthy” fat. They figured the consumer public would never know the difference and used marketing messages such as “it smells so much cleaner and it’s healthier than lard!” This was the beginning of our undoing with a huge public health crisis that has culminated in what we now recognize today as the obesity epidemic. It doesn’t stop there. Vegetable oils also affect mental as well as physical health and many other health issues such as depression, schizophrenia, ADD, ADHD, learning disorders, dyspraxia, and even autism can be attributed to the decline in eating animal fats and the increased consumption of processed foods and artificial substances like vegetable oils. Read Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome for more information.
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