Your Doctor Is Wrong About Cholesterol
Updated: Oct 12
You'll never worry about cholesterol after this.
Video by Dr. Boz [Annette Bosworth, MD]
Cholesterol – it's a word that's haunted us for years. Your annual check-up often leads to a stern conversation with your doctor if your cholesterol levels are deemed too high.
The immediate response? Prescribe statin drugs to lower those "bad" LDL cholesterol numbers.
But what if we told you that your doctor might be wrong about cholesterol?
Keep scrolling for 5 tips to improve your heart health holistically.
'Bad' Cholesterol May Not Be So Bad
For decades, we have been led to believe that LDL cholesterol is public enemy number one. But what if we told you the whole "LDL is bad" narrative isn't as rock-solid as it seems?
While statin drugs effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels, the question we should be asking is: are we sure that lowering LDL is genuinely beneficial for our health?
Is it time to question the vilification of LDL cholesterol?
KEEP IN MIND - We're not saying statin drug is never a good idea. There may be 1% of people with familial hypocholesterolemia where statins is the right thing. But for the vast majority of people who get the blanket recommendations of statin drugs because their cholesterol is too high, we need to understand a lot more. We're also not saying that cholesterol can never be too high, or that you should disregard your blood test results. What we're saying is: It may be a bad idea to make a diagnosis on a single marker such as high cholesterol or high LDL❕
Cholesterol levels are often oversimplified, with a magic number of 200 for total cholesterol and 100 for LDL cholesterol being thrown around as targets.
However, what's more crucial is not whether your cholesterol is above or below these thresholds but understanding the broader context.
Cholesterol numbers should be viewed as part of a bigger picture that includes factors like blood glucose, insulin levels, triglycerides, and the size of LDL particles.
LDL Particle Size: Why It Matters
Small, dense LDL particles are more likely to cause problems because they can penetrate the walls of blood vessels and lead to plaque buildup. On the other hand, large, fluffy LDL particles are less harmful.
The focus should be on reducing small, dense LDL particles by addressing inflammation and oxidative stress, not just lowering overall LDL cholesterol levels.
LDL particles in the blood stream Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles transport the water insoluble lipids in blood plasma from the liver to other organs and tissues.
The Problem With Statins
Sure, statins are arguably the most effective at lowering cholesterol levels, but they also come with potential side effects.
Moreover, their primary focus is on reducing healthy, fluffy LDL particles, not the problematic small, dense ones.
What You Should Worry About
Rather than obsessing over high or low cholesterol, we should focus on the real culprits behind heart disease:
Inflammation in the heart can lead to serious health problems, including an irregular heartbeat (also called arrhythmia), heart failure, and coronary heart disease
Oxidative stress in the body can lead to heart disease by damaging blood vessels, promoting inflammation, and contributing to the development of atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Insulin resistance, a condition in which the body's cells do not respond effectively to insulin, can contribute to heart disease by promoting inflammation, increasing blood pressure, and raising blood sugar levels, all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular problems like coronary artery disease.
High cholesterol levels often occur as a consequence of these underlying issues, not as the primary cause.
So How Do I Improve My Heart Health?
A more balanced approach to heart health involves addressing the root causes: reducing inflammation, managing oxidative stress, and improving insulin resistance.
Lifestyle changes, such as adopting a healthy diet, managing stress, and staying active, play a crucial role in achieving optimal cardiovascular health.
5 Tips to Prevent Heart Disease:
1. Consume Turmeric Regularly
Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that can help combat inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of turmeric may aid in reducing the risk of heart-related inflammation.
One convenient way to include turmeric in your daily routine is by incorporating supplements. One of our favourites is the Ginseng Turmeric Superjuice by the Purest Co which has consistently ranked among the best turmeric supplements on the market.
✅ Features premium Turmeric extract CURCUGEN™ and American Ginseng
✅ Enriched absorption with BioPerine® (95% Piperine)
✅ Low-calorie sweetener doesn’t affect blood sugar levels
✅ GMP-certified, made in an FDA-registered & HACCP-certified facility
✅ 30-day money-back guarantee
✅ Free islandwide shipping in Singapore
❌ Only available online
❌ Regularly out of stock due to high demand
When compared to its competitors, Ginseng Turmeric Superjuice by The Purest Co comes out on top. This is due to its superior formula and unbeatable price-to-performance ratio.
The star ingredient is undoubtedly Curcugen™, a patented turmeric extract developed by Dolcas Biotech. Tests show it has over 52 times enhanced curcumin absorption compared to turmeric extracts standardised up to 95% curcuminoids.
Importantly, the added BioPerine®, a very pure form of piperine, is studied to boost absorption by up to 2,000%. It also features American Ginseng, a potent herb for inflammation, high blood sugar and fatigue.
As a mark of its quality and safety, Ginseng Turmeric Superjuice is GMP-certified and manufactured in an FDA-registered & HACCP-certified facility. Finally, the company's 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee reassures cautious shoppers.
2. Embrace A Heart-Healthy Diet
A heart-healthy eating regimen should incorporate:
Fresh vegetables and fruits.
Legumes like beans.
Lean cuts of meat and fish.
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
Healthy fats like olive oil and avocado.
Two examples of heart-conscious eating plans are the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet.
Cut back on the following:
Salt or high-sodium foods.
Sugars and sweetened beverages.
Highly processed carbohydrates.
Highly processed foods, including processed meats.
Saturated fats, commonly found in red meat, full-fat dairy items, palm oil, and coconut oil.
Trans fats, present in some fried fast foods, chips, and baked goods.
3. Manage Stress
Chronic stress can lead to inflammation and adversely affect heart health. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or hobbies that help you relax and unwind.
4. Stay Physically Active
Regular exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and help maintain a healthy weight. Aim for at least 30 to 60 minutes of activity daily.
If you've been inactive for some time, it's important to gradually build up your activity levels. However, as a general guideline, you should target at least:
150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic exercise, like brisk walking.
75 minutes per week of intense aerobic activities, such as running.
Engaging in strength training sessions two or more times a week.
Even short bursts of activity can be beneficial for your heart. So if you can't meet the recommended guidelines, don't give up! Just five minutes of movement can make a difference. Everyday tasks like gardening, cleaning, using stairs, and walking your dog all contribute to your overall activity.
5. Prioritize Sleep
Inadequate sleep can contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support overall heart health. Establish a bedtime routine and create a sleep-friendly environment.
Heart health is a holistic endeavor, and addressing inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.
Rather than fixating on specific cholesterol levels, a holistic approach that emphasizes lifestyle changes such as adopting a heart-healthy diet, managing stress, staying physically active, prioritizing sleep, and incorporating anti-inflammatory compounds like turmeric may help you achieve long-term heart health.
Always consult with a healthcare professional before making significant changes to your diet or exercise routine, especially if you have existing health conditions or are on medication.
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, treatment, or guidance. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.