The influential Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the nation’s top nutrition panel, has now admitted they were WRONG about cholesterol. And they have now proclaimed this former dietary evil as no longer a “nutrient of concern.”1
They were slow – and, of course, wrong for decades – but at least they got there in the end.
That means eggs are back on the menu for millions of Americans – yolk and all – although my patients have been enjoying their eggs fried, poached, scrambled, deviled and made into omelets, flans and quiches for years, without the slightest negative impact on their health.
Big Brother has also deemed other “high-cholesterol” foods, like duck, goose, liver, lobster and shrimp, to be no longer a public health issue – not that they ever really were, except in the bureaucrats’ junk science-fueled imaginations.
On one hand, it feels good to have the federal government’s highest panel of diet experts on my side for once. After nearly four decades, they’ve actually come out and said it … there’s no evidence that consuming cholesterol causes heart attacks.
But, on the other hand, I’m still frustrated at how much these nutrition gurus continue to get wrong.
And, in spite of the fact that they no longer claim dietary cholesterol causes heart attacks, the medical establishment is still on a pointless campaign to lower our cholesterol levels. They say it’s necessary because you only get about 20 percent of our cholesterol from food while the rest comes from your genetic makeup.2
At the same time, the nutrition panel still won’t call off its crusade against red meat and other sources of saturated fats. So it still wants you to give up butter, cream, whole milk, real cheese and ice cream.
Yet researchers have debunked many previous studies that linked those foods to coronary disease.
Four decades of Big Brother’s advice has been based on bad science.3,4,5,6,7
But they still don’t get it. They’re messing with nature. We descended from hunter-gatherers, whose bodies evolved to eat large helpings of meat and fat. Societies may have changed, but our bodies and dietary needs have not.
Modern life has fueled epidemics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. But as I’ve said for years, the culprit hasn’t been cholesterol. The real villains are sugar syrups, chemical additives, and grains.
In the late ’50s, Big Pharma and Big Agra each launched their own propaganda machines to blame cholesterol for heart attacks.
Big Pharma wanted to sell cholesterol-lowering drugs, while Big Agra wanted to sell cheap, high-profit Frankenfoods, especially grains and soybeans. Both industries continue to make billions of dollars off unnecessary human health misery.
In 1961, the American Heart Association relied on flawed studies – I call it junk science – when it advised people to consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day. A whole egg has about 190 milligrams of cholesterol.
In the late ’70s, the federal government also relied on flawed studies when it went on the warpath against cholesterol. It told Americans to give up eggs, butter, cheese, and whole milk. And the same studies led the feds to warn Americans away from saturated fats, like those found in red meat.
Since I began practicing medicine nearly 30 years ago, I’ve made it my mission to expose medical myths like these.
My first piece of advice to patients who come to me with heart disease is always the same.
I tell them: “Your condition can be reversed. But, first, quit taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs. Throw them in the trash!“
In my book The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Heart Pumping Power, I explain that your body actually needs cholesterol to perform many vital biochemical functions.
Thanks to the propaganda machine, almost everyone on the planet has heard how cholesterol patches the damaged walls of blood vessels. And they’ve heard how patches turn into plaque, growing thicker and thicker… until, the blockage causes a stroke or heart attack.
And most people have heard that they have two types of cholesterol, one called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the other is called high-density lipoprotein (HDL). According to the conventional wisdom, LDL is the “bad cholesterol,” because it causes plaque. And the HDL is the “good cholesterol,” because it helps clean away LDL.
That’s not the whole story. Despite what most doctors will tell you, cholesterol doesn’t cause heart attacks. Those LDL deposits are a symptom of coronary disease, not the cause.
Inflammation is the real villain. It’s what damages the blood-vessel walls in the first place. So when LDL patches the wall, it’s just doing its job. And the patch should only exist long enough for the inflammation to pass and for the wall to heal.
Then, HDL is supposed to come along and clear it away. But the system breaks down when there’s too much inflammation and not enough HDL to keep up with the cleanup. The best way to treat this is to reduce inflammation and boost your HDL levels.
But Big Pharma focuses on drugs to lower your LDL, because no one’s been able to come up with a patentable way to increase HDL. But at my South Florida wellness clinic, I concentrate on teaching my patients natural ways to increase their HDL, through diet, exercise and supplements.
I believe one of the best strategies for raising HDL is simply to lose weight or practice a regular exercise regimen, like my
Otherwise, try some of these no stress, no strain alternatives…
A daily snack of olives can boost your HDL. And add them to cold dishes for extra flavor. And eat salads dressed with olive oil. It’s best to eat olives and olive oil uncooked, because heat saps some of their antioxidant powers.
Daily doses of vitamin C, and niacin can also increase your HDL production. Vitamin C is vital for cholesterol metabolism. Both vitamins are necessary so the body can excrete excess cholesterol. I recommend taking 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C twice a day and 50 milligrams of niacin once a day.
Finally, take carnitine supplements. You usually get carnitine from red meat, but not enough to significantly enhance your HDL. Make sure you get supplements labeled L-carnitine, which is the natural form. You don’t want the synthetic D,L-carnitine, which will be no help at all. Take 500 milligrams a day.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
P.S. By the way, if you’re confused by all changing dietary “advice” and half-truths about cholesterol and heart disease you hear in the media, you’re not alone. That’s one of the reasons I wrote my new book, The Ageless Heart: Advanced Strategies to Reverse Heart Disease and Restore Your Pumping Power, which is pretty much guaranteed to clear up any questions you have. It will also show you that in a very short period – by following advice directly opposite to standard recommendation – you can obtain real heart health. If you don’t have a copy yet, please click here .
1. Whoriskey, P. “The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol.” The Washington Post. February 10, 2015. washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/02/10/feds-poised-to-withdraw-longstanding-warnings-about-dietary-cholesterol. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
2.Szabo, L. “Panel could scrap advice on dietary cholesterol.” USA Today. February 12, 2013.
usatoday.com/story/news/2015/02/10/new-dietary-cholesterol-advice/23174871. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
3. C.E. Ramsden, et al. “Use of dietary lineolic acid for secondary prevention of coronary heart disease and death: Evaluation of recovered data from the Sydney Diet Heart Study and updated meta-analysis.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
4. Calder, P.C. “Old study sheds new light on the fatty acids and cardiovascular health debate.” BMJ, 2013; 346 (Feb 04 3).
5. DiNicolosanto, J.J. The cardiometabolic consequences of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates or -6 polyunsaturated fats: Do the dietary guidelines have it wrong?” Open Heart, 2014; 1 (1): e000032 DOI: 10.1136/openhrt-2013-000032.
6. Hope, J. “Butter isn’t bad for you after all: Major study says the advice on dairy fats was flawed.” The London Daily Mail.
February 9th, 2015.
7. Cohen, P. “Butter, red meat not so bad for you after all.” cbsnews.com/news/butter-red-meat-not-so-bad-for-you-after-all. February 10, 2015. Retreived February 13, 2015.