It was gratifying to see Time magazine set the record straight and admit it was wrong by finally pronouncing on its cover what’s been known for many years. Saturated fats like butter and liver containing natural cholesterol are in fact beneficial to health. They are far from the dietary demons they’ve been portrayed for the past 5+ decades.
While it was great to see butter and the benefits of cholesterol finally get their day in the sun, don’t expect to see the lowfat/nonfat dairy and butter substitutes disappear overnight from the dairy aisle at your local supermarket. Changing the thought process of several generations duped into thinking saturated fat and cholesterol are bad takes years if not a decade or more.
If you take the initiative to research on your own, though, no worries. You are far ahead of the curve and will avoid harm from the standard nutritional nonsense still being taught despite even conventional sources like Time magazine which now recognize the benefits of cholesterol and saturated fats.
Are you new to the concept that cholesterol is beneficial to health? Did you know that saturated fat sources like butter (even commercialized versions like rolled butter) coconut oil, liver and egg yolks from chicken, goose or duck should play a prominent role in a healthy, traditionally oriented diet?
If so, the list below of the benefits of cholesterol should help clarify the importance of this nutrient’s role in the body. Don’t let the Fake News from the American Heart Association about coconut oil and other saturated fats concern you. Such propaganda with no unbiased science behind it is designed to protect the GMO edible oil industry, not you!
The list below summarizes the nine critical body functions that either don’t work at all or work very poorly without cholesterol.
Let’s make it clear, however, that this list is talking about cholesterol in an unprocessed state. Oxidized cholesterol that is found in processed foods is to be avoided. It is this damaged cholesterol that contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis, not the natural cholesterol in whole foods.
And guess what? Oxidized cholesterol in the form of milk powder is exactly what food manufacturers add to skim milk to give it body. Milk powder is created by forcing liquid milk through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air (source). Skim milk is not the health food portrayed by conventional dietary dogma.
So eat your cholesterol in the form of whole, not processed foods and you will be doing your body good by enjoying all the biological benefits of cholesterol.
The 9 Benefits of Cholesterol in the Diet
Source: Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon Morell
- Cholesterol is vital for balanced hormones and the manufacture of those that deal with the stress of everyday living. These hormones also are protective against heart disease and cancer.
- Cholesterol is needed by the body to make all the sex hormones including andogen, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA.
- Cholesterol is necessary for the body to properly use Vitamin D, which is critical for all body systems including the bones, nerves, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, fertility, and strong immunity.
- Bile salts made by the liver require cholesterol. Bile is critical to the digestive process and absorption of dietary fats.
- Cholesterol functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body and is protective of free radical damage to tissues.
- Cholesterol is vital for proper functioning of the brain. Cholesterol is used by serotonin receptors .. serotonin is the body’s natural “feel good” chemical. No wonder low cholesterol levels have been associated with aggressive and violent tendencies, depression and suicide.
- Breastmilk (and homemade formula) are ideally rich in cholesterol and contain enzymes for baby to properly utilize it. Babies and children need cholesterol for proper growth and development of the brain, nervous system, and immune function.
- Cholesterol is necessary for proper functioning of the intestines and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall. Low cholesterol diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other digestive problems.
- Cholesterol is critical to repair of damaged cells. This is why cholesterol levels naturally rise as we age and are beneficial to the elderly. Women with the highest cholesterol actually live the longest! Dr. Meyer Texon MD, a respected pathologist practicing at New York University Medical Center, observes that accusing saturated fat and cholesterol for hardening of the arteries is like accusing white blood cells of causing infection, rather than helping the immune system address it.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
Sources and More Information
Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease
Cholesterol Myths to Wise Up About
What Oxidizes the Cholesterol in Eggs?
Cardiologist Speaks Out Against Lowfat Diet
Hi – Another interesting article. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on those who inherit the “bad” cholesterol gene. It is very common but many do not even realise they are suffering from this condition. What would you recommend to those who have been diagnosed with this gene? Continue their natural diet? Take statins? Reduce their saturated fat intake?
Hilda Labrada Gore
Thanks for this post, Sarah! I saw my doctor recently and she commented on how healthy I was. And yet, she had to add, “Hmmm. Your cholesterol is on the high side.” I feel like she doesn’t get point #9. We need more cholesterol as we age!
Good point! I would be EXTREMELY WORRIED if my cholesterol wasn’t edging up slightly as a I got older. My cholesterol is higher than it was in my 20’s and 30’s and I am GLAD. Shows my body is responding to the increasing repair duties needed as we get older.
The mistake was seeing cholesterol around the hearts during autopsies of heart attack victims. They concluded the cholesterol was the cause of the heart attack. In fact, the opposite. Cholesterol rushed to the heart to heal it.
Classic interpretation mistake.
Cholesterol is the biological equivalent of a fire fighter, not the fire starter.
Sarah, Thanks so much for helping explain to others easily and simple. I appreciate the ease and clear information that some might not understand. I can’t say thank you enough for your wonderful blog, recomendations, and all the gifts you provide just being you. Grateful !
WARNING! LONG POST COMING YOUR WAY AT FULL POWER!
I’m 26, female, 115 LBS. I started taking red yeast rice for my high cholesterol (fatal familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic predisposition for the body to store cholesterol) and my doctor recommended the RYR for my cholesterol, and 2400 MGS. So, I’m not sure if this a placebo but this hasn’t happened with any of the other supplements I’ve used.
I started taking it and within a week or so I noticed aching in my muscles. I thought it could have been due to to taking spring break from my aerobics class, but it didn’t go away. It got worse. I then noticed I was feeling really bored and losing interest in the things I enjoyed. Jamming to jumpstyle, dancing to disco, busting some wild grooves with gabber, chilling with dub and reggae, or raving to dubstep, drumstep and drum n bass…suddenly, just…didn’t interest me much, In fact going back my aerobics class didn’t sound fun…and I ENJOY that class!!
Then my boredom went into fatigue, then frustration. I got angry about little things. Hearing a wrong note, even if in vibrato in a song would get me criticizing it to no end when before I would merely tell myself “it’s how they like to sing”, Then I was getting very frustrated with other things, so much to the point I was yelling and pounding on them. I thought it could just been the day, but had to remember this had been happening a lot recently…then my ears started ringing, then ringing to a loud roaring. My hearing decreased from the roaring. I thought to myself “I’m a musician! I can’t have this going on when I’m trying to compose a track!”
The aching went to my fingers after a while. I actually wondered if i had arthritis. At my age?!? The aching was worrying me more and more. Having to stretch every time I would stand up? I was beginning to feel much “older” than I was. That got me thinking to my aerobics class. How could I even exercise with all of these aches and pains?? I had been taking about 30 MGs of CoQ10 during the day too, so i didn’t link it to the red yeast rice.
Finally in the last days, I was feeling more and more uneasy. I nearly blew up at my music teacher! I don’t ever wish that to happen! He means a lot to me!
I was struggling with some strange, dark thoughts. Being a victim of some horrible tortures and begging to be killed. Very, very unusual thoughts for me! I can normally get rid of those thoughts by eating high protein meats…not this time. Sleep was getting unusual too, I was staying up later and later. Then waking up in the night from my ears roaring at me. I took this roaring as a “calling” to hunt down the causes. Then I had a dream, a nightmare that summed it all up, one that was eerily similar to the thoughts I was having during the day.
My muscles and then later my kidneys and liver were being dissolved by an acidic substance. I was convinced that going through such a procedure would lead me on a path to enlightenment and good health…I woke up, hot and sweating like a pig in a near scream. I knew what it was. Taking that natural statin.
I got off it immediately and pumped up on the Coenzyme Q10. It took me about four days to feel moderately normal. It’s been two weeks now and I’m feeling pretty good now.
The fact is, I’m a small person, smaller than an average 26 year old woman! It could also be that at my size, even a small dose of statins could have a big impact upon my mental, emotional and physical health.
I was tempted to try this again in hopes that it’s not a placebo. Then again, if it’s NOT a placebo, why would I want to willingly put myself through that mess again? Yeast infection? Could be too, but still, I’m not going to risk going through that again. I’d rather take my chances with high cholesterol and risk the threat of dying unknowingly than live my life in such a way.
I’m going to be writing a song about some of the things I’ve been finding out about within the medical community outlining just why people so desperately need to be made aware of these things and be on alert for frauds (and to pay attention if they do feel they or someone in their family are being turned into a fraud victim), not just in the medical field, but in some cases even in the homeopathic realm. I read were some of the lower end companies don’t even use the real ingredients in some of the items they sell, and medical companies can use that as a way to say that ALL homeopathy is a fraud while dismissing any detrimental effects of their medications. There’s good and bad on both sides.
So be AWARE and do as much research as you can on BOTH sides, not just with what you prefer!
I was on a statin drug for high cholesterol for years and was always complaining about stiffness and muscle pain. My doctor pretty much ignored my complaints. Then it showed in my bloodwork that the statin was effecting my liver…she put me on a different statin. The stiffness and muscle pain worsened to the point I called my doctor and refused to take it anymore. She told me to switch to Red Yeast Rice which I researched before taking. Good thing I did. Statins are derived from RYR and it carries the same side effects! I’ve been working very hard to reduce my”bad cholesterol and triglycerides but after reading this Time article will look into this further.
Dusty Copeland via Facebook
natural, raw grass fed butter, otherwise it is still highly processed junk food
Brandi Shaw via Facebook
I got into an argument with a guy who insists, eating fat makes you insulin resistant. Facepalm all day, but what did i expect when his link was a vegan website. Vegan trolling MDA and spewing his ignorance. BUTTER FOR LIFE!
Richard Gamble via Facebook
The moron on the left in the glasses is Ansel Keyes
Sharon Hill-Walker via Facebook
A step in the right direction! Thanks for sharing this!