“Wag yan… Makolesterol yan…” (Not that one… It is rich in cholesterol…)
Most health authorities still point their fingers on cholesterol as the nemesis.
For the past five decades, cholesterol was under the spot light and was blamed for the causality of cardiovascular disease.
But not until recently, advances in science discovered that INFLAMMATION is the major cause of heart disease, not cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is just another amazing organic molecule found in our body that we can eat, make, store, and excrete. It performs a wide variety of function that makes it ESSENTIAL FOR LIFE.
Take note that MOST of the cholesterol we eat is NOT ABSORBED and is disposed by our body through the stool.
Eating cholesterol therefore has very little effect on the cholesterol levels in your body.
Why was it thought to be the culprit?
According to Cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra, author of the book THE GREAT CHOLESTEROL MYTH, “Cholesterol is found at the scene of the crime for heart disease, but it’s not the perpetrator.”
He added that he has even done angiograms on people with high cholesterol and they showed no signs of heart disease. Conversely, there are people with normal cholesterol but were found to have far more advanced heart disease!
What causes INFLAMMATION?
The root cause of inflammation is multi-factorial but I will give you the TWO most significant substances that promote it:
SUGAR is at the top of the list. Eating too much sugar promotes excessive rise in INSULIN and this is where all the inflammatory cascades start to happen.
Sugar causes damages in your arteries and it speeds up your aging process.
I am not only referring to the common table sugar. It comes in many forms. Sodas for example are filled with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) so are some crackers and sweet products such as cakes and pastries.
Refined carbohydrates (white carbohydrates) like white rice, white bread, white pasta, and the likes, are other examples. They are already devoid of essential nutrients and offer none other than SUGAR.
In one of my articles, I also explained why sugar causes high blood pressure. You can read it here.
The other substance, TRANS FAT, can be both natural & artificial. It is the man-made trans-fat that is most commonly found in processed foods.
This type of fat is modified, hydrogenated to be specific, for it to withstand the heat longer. This modification however causes immense inflammation in your blood vessels.
Examples of food with trans-fats are French fries, processed meats, chips, crackers, and candies. There are so much more.
Read your food labels and look for “hydrogenated oils or fractionated oils.” Not all food labels will admit that the product contains trans-fats!
Photo credit: doctorschierling.com
So now you that know cholesterol is not the enemy, the next time you grab that NILAGANG ITLOG (boiled egg), don’t feel guilty.
To keep your cardiovascular system healthy and avoid inflammation, steer away from foods that contain trans-fats and try to replace your refined carbohydrates with more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (coconut oil, almonds, olive oil), and fish meat instead.
Alex Saroca is the founder of Tabachoy Academy. He is a general physician by profession, an author, a blogger, and an entrepreneur. He is on a mission to educate and make Filipinos realize - especially those with overweight, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes - that lifestyle modification is still more powerful than any drug in preventing heart disease, treating heart disease, and improving one's physical state and longevity.