Fats: the Good and the Bad
Over the last several years, I’ve written a plethora of blog posts about the three hoaxes of the apothecary: statin drugs, cholesterol, and saturated fats.
Hmmm. My penultimate post was titled The Bible and the Toyota. Unwittingly, I seem to be waxing biblical again with this opening, a word play on … well, you probably figured it out.
The three are closely related. For almost six decades, the medical establishment has propagated the myths that cholesterol and saturated fats are bad, and statin drugs mitigate the deleterious effects of those evil substances. In fact, the opposite is true: cholesterol is a necessary ingredient of our bodies’ chemistry; saturated fats are at best salutary and at worst neutral; and statins are poisons that interfere with the proper functioning of those essential dietary components.
I’m older than I want to admit, but suffice it to say that, in my advanced age, I have defied, even contradicted, American medicine’s dictums on healthy eating and its results. I eat foods high in saturated fats like they’re going out of style – which, come to think of it, they have. Butter, coconut oil, eggs daily, cheese, whole milk, all-natural or organic beef, pork and chicken: I devour them.
According to the conventional medical watchdogs, my LDL cholesterol level should be through the roof, and I’m in grave danger of a heart attack unless I take a statin drug. Dear reader, I wouldn’t take a statin drug if you put a gun to my heart. Why? My recent blood work showed total cholesterol of 180, HDL at 80, LDL at 87, and triglycerides at 47. So the ratio of HDL to the total is 44.4 percent. The medical watchdogs say the ideal to strive for is 25 percent.
But even if I did have an elevated LDL level, I wouldn’t take a statin drug. The reason for a high level would be consumption of foods high in sugar and vegetable oils, found in almost all processed foods, and a lack of exercise. The bad diet produces inflammation in the arteries, and the liver produces LDL to combat that inflammation. So I’d minimize the sugars, eat foods high in animal fats, and get my fanny off the couch and into an exercise routine.
So there you have a layman’s take on the medical myths that have wreaked havoc on the health of the population. In previous blog posts, I reference medical experts – not the ones whose prescriptions go out en masse, but their lower-profile, contrarian colleagues.
Recently, I came across another of these outside-the-box doctors, whose exegesis of the development of the
Mitchell references a huge study of 136,905 heart attack patients at 541 hospitals, which found 75 percent had normal LDL levels. “In fact,” he writes, “research continues to show that most major heart attacks occur in people with normal levels of cholesterol,” and “our education – or brainwashing – on this subject has more to do with drug company profits than sound science.
Dr. David Brownstein
“I’ll tell you what happened. The drug companies figured out how to lower cholesterol, and then they just needed to make cholesterol a bogeyman to sell these drugs by the boatload. And the U.S. government was happy to oblige on that. But think about it – your body is a miracle of harmonious biochemistry. And your body makes cholesterol. So, why would it make something that poisons you? … There is no such thing as ‘bad cholesterol.’ That’s drug company marketing.
“The truth is cholesterol is essential to the health of your cell membranes … to your digestion … to making Vitamin D and many hormones. And it’s especially important to the health of your brain cells. So important, in fact, that you’d die rather quickly without it. Several studies show that low cholesterol is associated with a higher rate of mortality in the elderly. In a study of 4,309 Medicare patients, those with total cholesterol levels under 175 were found to die at twice the rate of those with levels over 226.”
Bad Fats Equal LDL
On the other hand, cholesterol is indeed involved with heart disease – indirectly. “You see, the consumption of bad fats and sugars will change the quality of your LDL particles, making them smaller and denser. And that’s when they can embed in the linings of your arteries, triggering the plaque-making process. But cholesterol is not the problem – bad fats and sugars are. And statin drugs have no bearing on that. So, consider that the statin pills you’re taking may be what’s giving you brain fog and memory loss, not to mention loss of libido, fatigue, muscle pain, and a higher risk of dying prematurely.”
Healthy, saturated-fat foods
Rather than taking statins, to keep your cholesterol particles healthy, eat a heart-healthy diet and exercise regularly, Mitchell advises. Fat is essential to brain health, but it has to be the right kind of fat – animal fat.
“For decades we’ve been told that animal fat is bad, and that a low-fat diet is best for your health. The theory was that eating animal fat, and its cholesterol, would lead to heart disease. But the original research on this was seriously flawed. Even so, our government bought it hook, line, and sinker.
Bad Research Leads to Bad Health
“And, after a 1977 government commission released it dietary guidelines based on this flawed research, food manufacturers changed their recipes and drug companies launched their cholesterol-lowering drugs. And down the rabbit hole we went! It was a major blunder that ended up costing millions of lives, while creating untold suffering, even as it enriched the medical and pharmaceutical industries.
“You see, under government pressure, food manufacturers replaced animal fats with processed vegetable fats. And then, to make up for the lost flavor, they added processed salts and sugars … which are in thousands of grocery store foods … And that’s largely why, over the past 40 years, we’ve seen an explosion of cases of arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s-Dementia. While food labels boast ‘low fat,’ they should really say – helps to inflame your joints, clog your arteries, spike your blood sugar, and make the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s-Dementia.”
So what to do? “I always tell my patients, eat good fat with every meal. It’s satisfying and reduces your craving for sweets.” The doctor rattles off a string of foods with good fat: avocados, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, coconut oil, olive oil, fatty fish including salmon, tuna and sardines. And, in moderation, eggs, cheeses, and juicy steaks free of antibiotics and hormones.
For more on this from other alternative doctors, here are three more of my articles, from 2015 and 2017: