Don’t fatten up the cholesterol myth

Vahdaneh Vahid

Published: Updated:

The idea that oils from plants are healthy and saturated fats from animals are unhealthy is wrong. The truth is the exact opposite and here are the reasons why.

Saturated fats are stable and so they lower lipid proxidation which occurs when unstable fats break apart and react with oxygen, turning into free radicals which lead to disease and ageing. These unstable fats are polyunsaturated fats from plant oils – also known as PUFA – and when they come in contact with heat and oxygen they break up, destroying oxygen and turning into very dangerous free radical molecules. These unstable molecules damage digestive enzymes, damage mitochondria in the cells and lower the thyroid function. Saturated fats stop a lot of these PUFA and unsaturated fats from breaking apart.

It’s good for you

Cholesterol is a protective fat so it isn’t harmful to us! Cholesterol turns into all of the protective hormones, as well as vitamin D and bile, which our bodies need, this is why our body makes it in the liver – because we need it! Yet, doctors say it’s harmful to us. Our liver only releases cholesterol when our body is stable, which means we don’t have allot of PUFA in our bloodstream.

So which is smarter, your doctor or your liver?

Remember, a doctor gets trained to treat with drugs. We need to understand how our body works. We, as the patients, need to be educated. We make cholesterol as a protective substance to lower inflammation in our body, as an antioxidant in the form of vitamin D and bile – a cleansing agent for our gut – and as a way to carry the toxins, such as estrogen, from our body. How many people do you know who are on statins nowadays.

Such drugs are devastating to the body. Now, by suppressing the natural production of cholesterol with statin drugs, the body is unable to carry out protective mechanisms that it should be able to do easily.

Here’s a simple way to look at this. If you eat a lot of cholesterol, your body makes less, and if you don’t eat a lot, your liver makes more. Dr. Duane Graveline wrote a book regarding his experience with statin drugs, how he suffered from amnesia, eventually related this to the statin drugs, and got himself off them, in his work entitled: A Review of Statin Drugs Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol by Dr. Duane Graveline, M.D.

Average cholesterol levels

The world average cholesterol reading is 220. Did you know the numbers have been lowered over the years to get more people on statin drugs? Now, in the USA they say if your cholesterol is over 180 it’s considered high, when in reality 180 is very low! Once you get into this whole system of pharmaceutical drugs and their side effects, you are placed on another drug for the side effects of the first drug. Believe it or not, people in the USA over 70 are usually on between 7-14 drugs and they all have contradictions with each other. This is how we end up on drugs for life!

When the commercial food industry started to grow grains and make all these PUFA, at first they used them as paints and varnishes as they immediately consume oxygen. This is something you don’t want to happen in your body. PUFA take up oxygen as part of the way in which they react with their environment. For example, if you paint your wall with vegetable oil it’s going to dry very fast as it pulls in the oxygen right away. Whereas if you paint a wall with butter it will remain sticky for years because it’s so stable and it doesn’t pull in oxygen very well.

The commercial food industry has made a lot of money from this and then decided it would be good to feed such food – soy, grains and corn – to animals to fatten them up, despite such foods not being part of a stable diet. They then decided to target humans and convinced them that any food that contains cholesterol, such as something as natural as butter, is bad and people need plant foods in order to be healthy! This is all a matter of marketing and selling, not a matter of human health and good knowledge. They have convinced your relatives that it’s better to eat paint and varnishes than it is it to eat real food.

As a result, I face a battle with my own relatives and clients who are petrified of real food. Unfortunately they don’t understand that the most dangerous things in their diet are these PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) that were never meant to be consumed by humans, maybe by cows, bison or lambs who can at least convert these fats into saturated fats, but definitely not humans.

We have been fed a pack of lies since the 1900′s and it’s just built up over the years. Are you still worried about cholesterol, knowing it’s good for your body? I think we should be more concerned about eating foods that are inappropriate for our bodies, plant foods that we cannot digest for example. I know that I am going to continue to eat meat, dairy and fruit and encourage my clients to do the same.

Vahdaneh Vahid is a UK-based Personal Trainer who recently moved to Dubai. She has had an interest in fitness from a young age. Her motto is now "Train Don't Drain" and teaches her clients that a balanced understanding of their physical, mental and emotional wellness is key. She can be found on Twitter: @vvfitness

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.