The first thing I ask my patients when they tell me they have elevated cholesterol is how much dairy and sugar is in their diet.  Surprised?  Yes, in most cases, it is sugar that raises cholesterol, not fat, not eggs. Every cell in our body needs cholesterol to function.  Sugar causes inflammation, and inflammation causes disease.  We all have a genetic weak link and inflammation will affect that weakness.

Years ago I attended a presentation about cholesterol and learned several things that changed my mind about the importance of cholesterol and how to approach this condition.  First…a chemist/scientist, from a drug company that developed cholesterol drugs, had been diagnosed with high cholesterol but refused to take a medicine that that company had developed.  He chose to change his diet and exercise instead.  Border line cholesterol use to be higher.

During the approval/study/testing process for the new cholesterol drug, rats needed to have high cholesterol so they were given fats, but this didn’t result in raising the animals cholesterol levels. When this failed, they were given dextrose, a sugar usually derived from corn or wheat and lactose, milk sugar, which sufficiently raised the cholesterol level. Proof that corn, wheat and milk are not the best food choices.  Fats that should be eliminated are vegetable oils, including canola, keeping the omega 6 fats low and using  more omega 3s, like krill, flax seed and hemp seed oils.

Not everyone is the same genetically so you can’t put everyone in the same box for cholesterol levels and as we age, our cells need more cholesterol, of course I should mention good cholesterol, to be healthy.  Probably the most important thing to remember is that triglycerides, important for proper pancreatic function, are important to be kept in check.