Saturday, December 6, 2008
A year ago, my routine health exam revealed ultra high (246) cholesterol levels, which I know is genetic. I was "prescribed" a nutrition seminar in which I was told the standard basics of avoiding saturated fats, eggs and other foods high in cholesterol. This summer I retested at 262, after a year of diligent diet observance. I was resolved to having to be on statin drugs, and had actually filled the prescription for Zocor, when that night I saw a program about lowering cholesterol through eliminating 4 things: sugar, chocolate, cheese and red meat. I did that for 6 weeks in lieu of the drugs, and, although I dropped 12 pounds, my cholesterol only went down to 233. Then, two weeks into taking Zocor, I was given a book by my sister-in-law called, "Eat Fat Lose Fat" by Dr. Mary Enig. A few pages in and I knew this was my second "God-wink" telling me not to be on the drugs. Only this information was that high cholesterol (especially in women) is not a bad thing, but actually a good thing, and that saturated fats are not the culprit in heart disease and atherosclerosis, but hydrogenation, homogenization, trans-fats and other "man-made" chemically changed foods. I was now feeling a bit confused, but more angry at the possiblity of a conspiracy comprised of some food and pharmaceutical companies to spread false information in the area of heart-health and diet. The third "nudge" came when I asked a nutritionist who wants to come and teach a class to our relief society, what she thought of saturated fats, and she echoed everything Mary Enig said. I have another week before my blood test, which I know will be low, due to the Zocor. Then I see the doctor who put me on the drug and I plan to ask him about this alternative philosophy. I anticipate that he will "pooh-pooh" the whole concept, but at this point, I am thinking I will no longer be worried about my cholesterol levels, throw out the Zocor, and introduce cod-liver oil, coconut oil and raw whole milk into my diet. Oh, and eggs. Lots of those incredible, edible eggs. I have always felt that the egg was the perfect food, perfectly packaged--gift-wrapped from nature!