I know... it seems blasphemous but it is absolutely true! After some comments left about coconut milk I knew that I needed to share what I know to be true especially since there's so much bad information out there right now. I also have a lot of family members with high cholesterol numbers and there are a lot of misunderstandings about what that means too. Even your doctor doesn't always take the time to learn this (yes... they follow government standards and the most commonly reported research...the loudest being the studies funded by the companies that want you to buy their products). If you go to your family doctor and you're diagnosed with higher cholesterol, s/he will want to put you on medicine to "treat" the supposed offending condition so that you can avoid heart disease. What many clinical studies have shown and also studies of whole cultures of people is that our American Medical Association isn't looking at the right data and some of what they are prescribing as preventitive, is in actuality making your cholesterol condition worse.
If you don't believe me, there are two books you should read that list every study and explain in laymen's terms what all of this means: Real Food by Nina Planck and Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. If your hair and skin is dry, you can't lose weight, you seem to be sick regularly even though you eat "healthy" and take your vitamins, or you are depressed or just sad more often, you may be missing enough animal fats in your diet.
Here are some facts from Nourishing Traditions:
"Fats from animal and vegetable sources provide a concentrated source of energy in the diet; they also provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and homorne-like substances. Fats as part of a meal slow down nutrient absorption so that we can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A,D,E and K. Dietary fats are needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption and for a host of other processes." Lipid hypothesis says that there is a direct relationship between the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet and the incidence of coronary heart disease. Most people would be surprised to learn that there is, in fact very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one's life span. Consider the following:
~ Before 1920 coronary heart disease was rare in America; so rare that when a young internist named Paul Dudley White introduced the German electrocardiograph to his colleagues at Harvard University, they advised him to concentrate on a more profitable branch of medicine. The new machine revealed the presence of arterial blockages, thus permitting early diagnosis of coronary heart disease. But in those days clogged arteries were a medical rarity, and White had to search for patients who could benefit from his new technology. During the next forty years, however, the incidence of coronary heart disease rose dramatically, so much so that by the mid-1950's heart disease was the leading cause of death among Americans. Today heart disease causes at least 40 percent of all US deaths. If, as we have been told, heart disease is caused by consumption of saturated fats, one would expect to find a corresponding increase in animal fat in the American diet. Actually, the reverse is true. During the sixty-year period from 1910 to 1970, the proportion of traditional animal fat in the American diet declined from 83 percent to 62 percent, and butter consumption plummeted from 18 pounds per person per year to four. During the past eighty years, dietary cholesterol intake has increased only 1 percent. During the same period the percentage of dietary vegetable oils in the form of margarine, shortening and refined oils increased about 400 percent while the consumption of sugar and processed foods increased about 60 percent.
Mary G. Enig, PhD, Trans Fatty Acids in the Food Supply: A Comprehensive Report Covering 60 Years of Research, 2nd Edition
~ The Framington Heart Study is often cited as proof of the lipid hypothesis. This study began in 1948 and involved about 6,000 people from the town of Framington, Massachussetts. Two groups were compared at five-year intervals-- those who consumed little cholesterol and saturated fat and those who consumed large amounts. After 40 years, the director of this study had to admit: "In Framington, Mass., the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person's serum cholesterol... we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active." The study did show that those who weighed more and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk for future heart disease, but weight gain and cholesterol levels had an inverse correlation with fat and cholesterol intake in the diet.
William Castelli, Archives of Internal Medicine, Jul 1992
H Hubert et al, Circulation, 1983; Smith and Pinckney, Diet, Blood Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease; A Critical Review of the Literature, Vol 2, 1991
~ In a multi-year British study involving several thousand men, half were asked to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol in their diets, to stop smoking and to increase consumption of unsaturated oils such as margarine and vegetable oils. After one year, those on the "good" diet had 100 percent more deaths than those on the "bad" diet, in spite of the fact that those on the "bad" diet continued to smoke! But in describing the study, the author ignored these results in favor of a politically correct conclusion: "The implication for public health policy in the UK is that a preventive programme such as we evaluated in this trial is probably effective..."
G. Rose et al, The Lancet, 1983
I will write more tomorrow, but for tonight, but a pat of butter on your vegetables!