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|CHOLESTEROL - GUILT BY ASSOCIATION?
We always see fire fighters and fire trucks at the scene of fires. Should we therefore conclude that they started the blazes? If there is a bandage on a wound, does that mean the bandage caused the injury? These are silly thoughts, but use the same logic that mainstream medicine doggedly applies to cholesterol. Cholesterol is indeed found at the scene of arterial blockages. But why? Much maligned cholesterol is not inherently evil but rather a necessary molecule that the body makes and uses to create little necessities like hormones, brain tissue and vitamin D. It is also an antioxidant and a repair molecule. It may be where there is arterial damage because it came to make repairs. Shouldn't we be more concerned about what caused the damage?
Given the serious side effects of the statin type cholesterol-lowering drugs, it seems prudent to use them only where they have proven benefit which is only with certain groups. Please read this fascinating article by the brilliant investigative journalist, Bill Sardi. It reveals how drug companies operate and that is important because these behemoths call the tune in conventional medicine. The article also contains is a very succinct debuking of the cholesterol myth. This is a must read if you take cholesterol lowering medication. LINK.
Important Note: Cholesterol can stop being a good guy if it is oxidized. Then it can damage blood vessels. Cholesterol becomes oxidized (that’s like becoming rusty) because of excess free radicals (e.g. from smoking) or because of insufficient intake of protective antioxidant nutrients. Even then the best answer may not be to use drugs to reduce cholesterol but rather to protect it from oxidation using nutrition and natural foods and their concentrated forms, supplements.
HOLY GUACAMOLE, BATMAN
My husband, Bill, calls this dish “gagamole” probably based on its green gooey appearance. Also those diet dictocrats who ignore the science and blindly condemn fat in all its forms would steer you away because avocados are fatty. They are all NUTS. (Was that too subtle?) Guacamole is an example of a real food with many health benefits not the least of which is that it helps protect your cholesterol from oxidation.
The list below is from a yummy guacamole freshly made at Central Market. Each ingredient has many additional beneficial functions, but this brief sample will give you an idea:
Avocado – rich in the monounsaturated fats that are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. (By the way, when a cut avocado turns brown, it is just the enzymes working. It isn't pretty but still okay to eat.)
Onion – protects your immune system and is an excellent source of the mineral chromium that helps stabilize blood sugar. Onion contains polyphenols including flavonoids like quercetin that reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms.
Tomato – contains powerful antioxidants like lycopene (valued especially for prostate protection) and a newly discovered antioxidant, FNA*, that may be up to 10 times more powerful than vitamin C. Another constituent lowers cholesterol, most likely by decreasing the need for it.
Cilantro – a source of vitamin K that is crucial for both bone health and to protect against calcification of arteries. Also believed to help remove toxic metals from the body.
Jalapeno peppers – Beneficial for blood pressure and problems with joints, sinus and headaches. They also burn fat.
Limes – Remember that British sailors were called “limeys” because the vitamin C in limes saved them from scurvy, a deadly disease. Bleeding gums can be a sign of low vitamin C.
Iodized salt – Although the iodine may evaporate rather quickly from salt, the part that remains is essential for the thyroid gland. Sodium is a needed electrolyte and your adrenal glands will suffer if you don’t get enough salt. Only a small fraction of the population seems sensitive.
Black Pepper – Improves digestion and is anti-bacterial.
Even this incomplete list of benefits is impressive isn't it? And back to the fat content of the avocado...the body likes to burn fat, but when insulin is high in the blood, switches to storage mode. Carbohydrates raise insulin. So, that makes the corn chips that usually go with guacamole a bit suspect. Veggie sticks are a lower carb alternative.
Here is a recipe for home made guac that sounds good. Then there is Wholly Guacamole, an interesting packaged product that uses high pressure as a way of stabilizing the product rather than heat pasteurization or preservatives. That process makes it safe but also protects the nutritional value. It is widely available in grocery stores.
*Feruloylnoradrenaline. Tomatoes make FNA when under stress. It is a powerful protector of fats. It is not on the market as a supplement but may soon become a food preservative.
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My first book : Natural Alternatives to Nexium, Maalox, Tagamet, Prilosec & Other Acid Blockers. Subtitle: What to Use to Relieve Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and Gastric Ailments.
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The information contained in this newsletter has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The contents are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Copyright 2011 Martie Whittekin, CCN