It’s not Cholesterol, it’s Inflammation
For decades, we have had the impression that cholesterol comes with harmful effects and in order to reclaim our health, we shouldn’t eat it. We avoid nutritious foods that are packed full of beneficial components because of the well-known rumour that cholesterol is “bad.”
BUT, if we dig deeper into the way in which our body should function, we ought to be more appreciative of the role that cholesterol plays. Not only is it key for hormones, learning new skills and recalling information, it is actually a key player in the structure of our cells, resistance to infection and chronic damage.
Cholesterol is a good thing, and a major part of any healing process in our body. When damage is done, either from injury or illness, an inflammatory response begins. Where there is inflammation, there is cholesterol ready to help.
Let’s say you’re riding your bike and you didn’t see the giant pot hole in front of you. You fall off, scraping your knee. Within minutes, your knee becomes swollen, red and the pain ensues. These are all signs of inflammation and is a part of your body’s natural healing response. Blood, full of nutrients like cholesterol, races to the site of damage, ready to fight infection by disabling toxins from bacteria that are bound to get into your open wound. Not so bad, right?
The real damage, however, begins when this inflammation becomes chronic.
Now, imagine you fell off your bike every single day and scraped that same knee. Your body is not given the chance to heal itself, and the inflammation doesn’t end. Cholesterol layers on, only carrying out its protective role and trying its very best to help the healing process.
In terms of heart disease, poor lifestyle habits lead to chronic inflammation within your body. Every time more damage is done, in comes cholesterol trying to help, but accumulating in all the wrong places. Your arteries become plaqued, your airways narrow and blood flow is restricted, ultimately leading to heart disease, heart conditions and heart attacks.
When we begin to understand that cholesterol is merely a response to inflammation, the root of the problem is no longer in cholesterol, but inflammation, and the solution is no longer aimed at lowering cholesterol necessarily, but instead focusing on creating better lifestyle habits that truly get to the root of the problem.
Here are 5 key areas of focus: