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Cholesterol, what causes high cholesterol?

Updated: Apr 24

We discussed the benefits of having cholesterol. Now let's talk about what causes cholesterol and the concerns.

We know cholesterol is a waxy substance the body releases from the liver. It has many purposes. The main concern when it comes to cholesterol is when it builds up in arteries/ vessels and blocks blood movement.

What is normally discussed is that the cause is foods high in saturated and trans fats, which can raise LDL cholesterol levels. These fats are commonly found in red meat, full-fat dairy products, processed foods, and fried foods. The real focus here on meat should be processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage. Most of these you can purchase at the grocery store have bad salts and processed sugars added to them, which bad salts and sugars are an issue to vessels as they cause damage/irritation and inflammation. Again, this is part of processing the meats and adding in these additives, that is the bigger issue not so much the meat. Here are some of the substances added to these meats.

  • Ascorbic acid/sodium ascorbate

  • Autolyzed yeast extract

  • Beef stock

  • Celery powder

  • Cherry powder

  • Citric acid

  • Collagen casing

  • Dextrose

  • Flavoring

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein

  • Lactate/diacetate

  • Lauric arginate

  • Maltodextrin

  • Modified food starch

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)

  • Natural sheep casing (made from lamb intestines)

  • Paprika extract

  • Phosphates

  • Salt

  • Smoke flavoring

  • Sodium erythorbate

  • Sodium nitrate

  • Sorbitol

  • Soy protein concentrate

  • Spices

  • Sugar and corn syrup

  • Water

  • Yeast extract

How many chemicals and sugars can you see in these? Is it just the meat or are they all additives? We must pay attention to the quality of our meats and what is in them. But does that mean all meats are bad and cause heart problems?

When consumed, saturated fats stimulate the liver to produce more LDL cholesterol particles. Let's discuss why. The liver synthesizes LDL cholesterol as part of the process of metabolizing saturated fats, aka bile. So, the LDL is partly being produced to break down fat. If the LDL is going out and breaking down fat, where does the LDL go when the body is finished using it?

HDL's job is to grab the LDL and bring it back to the liver to be recycled. Some LDL is pushed out with the remaining undigested food matter in your stool. LDL receptors on the surface of cells use it as well. LDL receptors remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream by binding to LDL particles and internalizing them into cells for processing. Cells use cholesterol as a vital component of their cell membranes. Cholesterol helps maintain membrane structure and fluidity, essential for cell function and integrity. The cell uses it for the health of the cell, making hormones, and signaling.

When the liver releases the LDL, it has many purposes, but it is considered bad due to the build-up it can make in the vessel walls. Why would it go to the arteries/vessels and clog things up when it has so many things it is used for? Injury and inflammation to the walls of the arteries/ vessels.

What creates inflammation in the vessels? Chemicals include sugar, smoking (via chemicals), blood pressure (due to frequent sugar and liver dysfunction), kidney (again sugar), and Lung (chemicals). This leads me to believe we need to nourish the liver rather than shutting down its functions. We also need to nourish arteries and vessel walls. Plus, you should look at your diet to remove excess chemicals and sugars.

So when looking at your cholesterol, how to manage it, and diet restraints, It isn't about meat or no meat. It is about quality meat with no extra preservatives, reducing sugars (simple and chemical sugars), and chemicals. It is also about organic plant foods (due to fewer chemicals) with higher fiber, not sugars. It is about nourishing the body to support the liver and arteries/vessels and lowering sugar and chemicals in the bloodstream. Supporting detoxifying organs!

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