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LDL not the issue in cardiovascular disease

LDL, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, the rainbow diet, heart attacks, prevention
LDL not the issue in cardiovascular disease

Dr Aseem Malhotra in his new book, ‘A Statin-Free Life – A revolutionary life plan for tackling heart disease – without the use of statins’ fits very closely with Chris Woollams original Rainbow Diet, written back in 2005.

Heart disease is the number 1 cause of both premature and overall death in the Western world. Over six million people in the UK take statins in order to reduce their risk. Statins lower ‘bad cholesterol’ or LDL-C. Statins are big business.As many as one in six adults in certain age groups take them. I was offered one ‘Because I was 69’ a few years ago! Doctors’ clinics in the UK receive bonuses for prescribing them.

Dr Aseem Malhotra’s latest book,explains that there is a much better way to prevent and even reverse the risk of heart disease without using statins.

In his new book, Malhotra claims, citing multiple research studies, that there is no convincing evidence that statins have even lowered death rates from heart disease on a population level. And that there is also no consistent correlation between lowering LDL cholesterol and a reduction in heart attacks.

“It’s a useless biomarker in terms of predicting someone’s risk of heart disease and therefore we shouldn’t obsess about lowering it,” he says in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.

Malhotra believes a far better predictor of heart disease would be the ratio of total cholesterol to ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. He also dismisses individual studies on LDL and statins being more concerned about the ‘Totality of evidence’. Of course Big Pharma claims that Malhotra is just a dangerous purveyor of mis-information, much akin to his views of the Covid-19 vaccines.

As we have told readers many times cholesterol has important benefits particularly in brain health and even LDL cholesterol benefits our immune system.

We have also covered research from Dr Chaucey Crandell of Palm Beach Heart Centre that inflammation is the start of heart disease and that this is propagated by sugar, and a processed and refined food diet, and the resulting higher insulin levels which drive the swollen arteries.  Cholesterol build up is actually the body’s protective response.

How to prevent heart disease and heart attacks

As readers know we have covered this a number of times. Overall we believe that the colourful Mediterranean diet – the LIFESTYLE-based Rainbow Diet – is the way to go. Where do Chris Woollamd and Aseem Malhotra concur?

i) Exercise, keep moving – you should exercise every day for at least 45 minutes to regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. But exercise is more than walking the dog once or twice a day, you must also not sit still for long periods! You should not sit in a chair for more than one hour. Keep moving; and get outdoors even on the darkest day, sunlight (not just sunshine) has strong health benefits.

ii) Sleep properly – you should switch from blue light to red light on your ‘machines’- phone, computer, TV. You should go to bed at the same time every night in a fully darkened room. Poor sleep is linked to increased depression, increased stress and loss of willpower so you are more likely to eat badly.

iii) Eat Nourishing whole foods. Cut the junk, the poor quality rubbish – the refined, processed, packaged foods, white bread, rice, pasta and sugar-rich fruit juices, fizzy soft drinks and alcohol. Cut your red meat consumption and the unhealthy refined oils and seed oils, saturated fat oils like coconut, and instead switch to extra virgin olive oil, oily fish and fish oils, avocados and walnuts, almonds and pistachios.

iv) Consume Red wine – that is the only alcohol; Resveratrol is of huge benefit. Also consume herb teas like matcha green tea; 85% dark chocolate, and drink more quality water.

v) De-stress – Increase your circle of friends, your ‘community’. Even low level chronic stress turns on Cox-2 like insulin does and causes inflammation throughout the body. Stress puts your microbiome down, your blood sugar up, and your fibrin levels up – and fibrin aids blood clotting.  Meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, prayer even worry beads. 

Finally, Malhotra too talks of the people of the Blue Zone, where there are more 80, 90 and 100 year olds. Chris often talks of these people as the very essence of a Rainbow Diet – a LIFESTYLE that includes a strong sense of family, community and even religion; whole nourishing foods, fish, nuts, seeds, unpasteurised cheese, olives, and olive oil, walking, dancing, an outdoor life, sunlight, sunshine, whole and nourishing foods particularly pulses, vegetables and fruits. Most people in Sardina’s Blue Zone have their last meal about 5.30 pm, and get up at first light, doing something before they have their  ‘break fast’ around 9 am.

As Chris adds, “the Americans have even ‘processed’ the Rainbow Diet – they seem to think it’s all about throwing colouful fruits and vegetables into a blender, or making a plate look pretty. The Rainbow diet book as I first wrote in 2005 is about living a LIFESTYLE – who needs a statin if you follow a real Rainbow Diet.”