Cholesterol Does Not Kill You, Inflammation Does

My brother loves saying that everything related to Fitness* is very complicated, that information is always changing.

*We describe fitness as our ability to generate work across any time, domain, situation or environment, whether you have to protect yourself in an emergency situation, lift a car to save someone, jump over walls to get away from some furious ex, or resist all the goodies served in parties, celebrations and get-togethers.

Unfortunately it seems to be true, a basic search is enough to realize that most of the studies differ in results achieved. However, it is worth remembering that every study is dependent on a sponsorship and it is very difficult assuring that they are conducted with total impartiality without meeting the interests of a particular or contractor.

As a very skeptical individual, while still looking from the perspective of a fitness trainer, when writing to Nilogia, I aim to stimulate practices that bring us back to our natural extincts of existence. When it comes to cholesterol, it ends up being an invitation to nourishing ourselves with diet richer in fats and proteins, and consequently lower in carbohydrates, after all, our great-great-great-grandparents did not have access to all these whole-wheat bread, refined oils, yogurts, ice cream, fast food , cakes, juices, beers or any other of these goodies which are offered in our Fantastic World of Supermarkets.

So I am proposing a simple explanation for cholesterol, taking into account only what the scientific evidence generally agrees, leaving aside the conflict whether fat is good or bad, considering only the concrete, or at least what we have up to date.

Cholesterol is one of the most important substances in our body, without it, we would not exist. Our brain and nervous system is full of it, the walls of our cells depend on cholesterol, almost all our hormones are made of cholesterol. Cholesterol is so, so important, that almost every cell in our body is able to produce it if it becomes necessary.

Concerning cholesterol, you may have already heard that if you have too much LDL, it builds up in your arteries making them narrow (that's why we call it bad cholesterol), but if you're lucky, HDL (the good cholesterol) takes the LDL away.

It turns out, however, that in fact LDL and HDL are not even cholesterol, but transport proteins responsible for carrying cholesterol (fat) through the blood, check it with your own eyes:

HDL - High Density Lipoprotein*
LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein

*Lipo because these are protein cells responsible to carry fat, if they were transporting sugar for example, they would be glycoproteins.

LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the arteries and tissues, while HDL takes old cholesterol back to the liver where it can be recycled.

And despite being tagged as evil, LDL is not bad, it is actually our little friend!

When arteries become damaged or inflamed, LDL does exactly what it should do, it brings cholesterol to help in the healing process. There are two types of LDL:

Type A: Larger particles
Type B: Smaller particles.

When these inflammations occur, the type B LDL, little by little, penetrates the artery walls, where cholesterol carried by them starts accumulating. HDL, which is larger and does not pass through these walls, can not reach them to get them back to the liver, as it is able to do with Type A LDL. This type B LDL formed by smaller particles can not return and initiates plaque formation, and that's it! Now we have an inviting pattern for every possible heart disease. 

Conclusion: It is not high cholesterol that causes heart disease. It is the inflammation that causes heart disease.

The risk exists only if you keep subjecting yourself to inflammatory processes.

The plaques that form from the accumulation of cholesterol are symptoms, the cause of inflammation is a variant that may include, among other possibilities, stress, hormonal dysfunction, weight gain, fat accumulation, sedentary lifestyle, drug abuse, sleepless nights, extreme tiredness, unbalanced consumption of fats, especially the various options of refined vegetable oils, hormone production failure, etc.

If you are healthy and willing to have higher HDL, and not have to worry about LDL, the last thing you need is a diet poor in fats.

Eating a balance of different sources of fat such as nuts, seeds, unrefined oils as coconut oil, olive oil, including also animal fats is as much a necessity as eating proteins and quality carbohydrates.

Solution: Less blood tests, less uncountable hours arguing, less visits to the doctor and more consistent changes that lead us to results: A more active life, lower body fat retention, more lean mass and bone tissue, fewer medicines and vaccines. More food based on leaves, plants, vegetables, (meat, fish, chicken, milk and eggs), of the best possible quality, preferably organic with less or no addition of preservatives and additives. It's good for you, it's good for the planet.