Is Cholesterol really as bad as doctors suggest

posted by Sunil Newatia on April 7th, 2021

All of us are really scared of high cholesterol because we are told that high cholesterol is sure shot path leading to a heart condition and ultimately, a premature death.

Are you aware that several people who undergo heart surgery or multiple bypass have never had high cholesterol?! In fact, their cholesterol levels have been much lower than the prescribed upper limit. This proves that there is something besides cholesterol that is as dangerous. So why is only cholesterol being made the bad guy? What else can it be that is responsible for heart conditions but is never talked about and never treated? You can get the answers from the books recommended at the bottom of this page.

OK, so what causes the cholesterol levels to go up? Our immediate answer would be FAT!! Well, there are several types of fat, some good and some bad. Fat is just as essential to our body as minerals and vitamins. Fat in one’s diet does not get converted into cholesterol and neither does it cause weight gain as is popularly believed. Giving up the butter on your toast or ghee on your chapatti is neither going to reduce your cholesterol nor your weight. This is a myth, which is being fed to us day in and day out. Fat is actually good for us but we should know which fat to have. Most of the butters available in the market, processed fats like Margarine, processed ghee available in the market and oils extracted through hot press processes are all bad for us. Homemade ghee and butter, cold pressed oils like Rice Bran Oil, Olive Oil and Mustard Oil are healthy and good for us.

But if fats don’t cause weight gain, then what does? We Indians love our breads like Naan, Roti, Paratha, Batura, Pav Bhaji, Vada Paav etc. and we also love fast food like Pizzas and Burgers. Have you ever noticed or noted the amount of carbs you consume in just one day? Just check. Make a note of all carbs that you eat in a week. Carbs are nothing but sugar. Excessive and unused sugar in the blood is converted into fat and stored by the body. Cut down on your Rotis and Chapattis and see the result!!

Coming back to Cholesterol, what is it that causes cholesterol levels to go up and how bad is it? A sedentary lifestyle coupled with a carb rich diet over a long period of time results in heightened levels of cholesterol. How bad is it? Well, many years ago when doctors dubbed cholesterol as the evil guy responsible for heart attacks and clogged arteries, the acceptable levels of LDL (Bad cholesterol) was much higher than it is today. This acceptable parameter is continuously being reduced every passing year. If you are in the habit of taking periodic lipid tests and storing all your blood reports, please refer to the reports over last few years and see what the given normal range is. It just keeps getting lower. Why? Does cholesterol also evolve and get more dangerous with time? NO! With every point that it is lowered more people get classified as suffering from “High Cholesterol”. More patients means more sale of cholesterol lowering drugs. More sales of drugs means more profits to Pharmaceutical companies. More profits to Pharmaceutical companies means more money is spent on entertaining doctors which in turn increases the amount of drugs the doctors prescribe… You see, the circuit is complete!!!

Cholesterol is not a killer, far from it. But, Statins, the drug you are prescribed to lower cholesterol will definitely get you. Side effects of Statins far outweigh the benefits derived from it. Continuous and sustained usage of Statins will start giving you severe joint pains and weak muscles before it comes after the other organs. So beware.

If your cholesterol levels are slightly higher then recommended, there is no need to lose sleep over it. Nothing will happen. If you want to lower your cholesterol levels without Statins, reduce your carb intake, increase physical activity by exercising, reduce alcohol consumption and give up smoking. Take care of your cholesterol levels naturally. It’s just not worth getting onto Statins!!

If you want to dig deeper, I would recommend following books:
The great cholesterol con by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick
Fat and Cholesterol are good for you by Dr. Uffe Ravnskov
You can also visit (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics )

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