With this month dubbed National Cholesterol Education Month, it’s important that you take away one crucial fact – cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease. For those with high cholesterol, this is contrary to everything you’ve ever been told, but the truth is cholesterol is vital to a healthy life. It helps regulate hormones necessary for handling stress, aids in the body’s proper use of Vitamin D, and works to repair damaged cells, among several other critical functions.
Sure, LDL cholesterol can live up to its name as “bad cholesterol.” However, this is only true when inflammation is present in the arteries, causing small LDL particles to become trapped and result in more inflammation, which in turn leads to plaque.
If you read that carefully, the root cause of heart disease was clear – inflammation. Therefore, to boost your heart health, focus on minimizing inflammation, not on lowering your cholesterol. This can be accomplished by reducing your stress, quitting smoking, cutting out or minimizing sugar, improving your diet, exercising, and losing weight.
Assuming you can make these nutritional and lifestyle changes and rid your arteries of inflammation, there’s a much less reason to be concerned with heart disease or cholesterol. After all, the Framingham Study which first reported a link between elevated cholesterol and heart disease also found that its subjects with higher cholesterol lived longer than other participants.
Should you want guidance in establishing a healthier life, or to discuss this topic in more detail, please contact me. As a certified health coach, I welcome the opportunity to help put you on the path to improved well-being.
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