Thursday, November 4, 2010

NT in a Nutshell Part 3: Cholesterol

Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet DictocratsOver the last week, we have been discussing the function and importance of dietary fats and the misinformation we have been led to believe due to the Lipid Hypothesis, a theory that dominates modern medical advice and popular culture. This information is condensed from pages 12-13 of Nourishing Traditions, and is not intended as medical advice, but as an introduction to healthy eating practices.

To complete our discussion of the first 20 pages of Nourishing Traditions, we must address the issue of cholesterol. This important compound is manufactured by our bodies, and although it has been demonized through the Lipid Hypothesis, it is vitally important for the proper functioning of our bodies. This information was so shocking to me when I first read it that I want to present it to you here. From page 12:

“Along with saturated fats, cholesterol in the cell membrane gives our cells necessary stiffness and stability. When the diet contains an excess of polyunsaturated fatty acids, these replace saturated fatty acids in the cell membrane, so that the cell walls actually become flabby. When this happens, cholesterol form the blood is ‘driven’ into the tissues to give them structural integrity. This is why serum cholesterol levels may go down temporarily when we replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated oils in the diet…
“Cholesterol acts as a precursor to vital corticosteroids, hormones that help us deal with stress and protect the body against heart disease and cancer; and to the sex hormones like androgen, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone…
“Cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, a vital fat-soluble vitamin needed for health bones and nervous system, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, reproduction and immune system function…
“The bile salts are made from cholesterol. Bile is vital for digestion and assimilation of dietary fats…
“Recent research shows that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant. This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer…
“Cholesterol is needed for proper function of serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ chemical. Low cholesterol levels have been linked to aggressive and violent behavior, depression and suicidal tendencies…
“Mother’s milk is especially rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme that helps the baby utilize this nutrient. Babies and children need cholesterol-rich foods throughout their growing years to ensure proper development of the brain and nervous system…
“Dietary cholesterol plays an important role in maintaining the health of the intestinal wall. This is why low-cholesterol vegetarian diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other intestinal disorders.”
This is not to say that you should stop taking your medication and decide that you no longer have anything to worry about, but it is to say that perhaps you should reconsider what you eat and how it is made. The considerations presented in Nourishing Traditions about dietary fats and cholesterol alone were enough to make me interested in making come changes in my family’s diet.

As we continue our discussion on other topics presented throughout the Introduction, I hope you will be encouraged to investigate the recipes and principles at the heart of the book. We will pick up our discussion next time with information about carbohydrates.

There is joy on this journey, on my way home to my Father’s house,
Cindy <><

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for stopping by today, Cindy. Funny about this book title you share here--Nourishing Traditions" and there I was sharing about my own traditions with my daughter.

    You share very good information here. Must come back and take a look with more time. Love your pictures too. And yes, there is joy on the journey. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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