Are you open to a radical idea (cheap and easy) to kill heart attacks & strokes, while saving countless lives? I’ve got one, if you’ll read on. It simply involves the truth…and sharing it with everyone. And, if you think this crazy idea is worth sharing…please do!
Note: This discussion does not pertain to people suffering from familial hypercholesterolemia…a genetic condition where the liver produces too much cholesterol, regardless of diet. It pertains to those who’s livers and systems ARE able achieve lower-cholesterol through diet, alone.
I’ve alway been curious to find out why we publicize and shoot for a cholesterol of under 200, knowing that 35% of heart attacks and strokes occur with a total cholesterol level under 200. The 200 number appears everywhere (American Heart Association, etc.) as either “desireable” or “optimal“. The 200 number has found it’s way into the mainstream of health “lore” and it’s killing us. And, more interestingly, if we keep it there, we’ll always be fighting for a cure for heart attacks and strokes. Those that make a living searching for a cure or rescuing us from the brink of death are sure to appreciate it.
After 2 years of questions to many of our major national health institutions, trying to find the origin of the under-200 recommendation, I finally learned the truth of where the 200 came from…that Dr. Castelli, former director of the Framingham Institute (where MOST of the historical knowledge-base changing heart/stroke risk work & cholesterol research has been done), was involved in the research that yielded the 200 number and that the 200 number was taken out of context (you can read or listen to his Feb. 2011 interview). We’ve been living (or dying) with it ever since.
The real number to prevent heart attacks and strokes is under 130. Societies with populations that eat diets that yield numbers below 130 don’t have heart disease.
But, with the 200 number, so many people approach or just get under 200 and feel a sense of safety. They’re NOT safe. The 200 number is killing us.
Here’s the question…what if everybody knew that under-130 was the truly safe number? How easy would it be to spread the word? The next question people would ask is “how can I get there”? Obviously, dietary changes would be necessary. The resulting dietary changes would be profound…and much much healthier.
I belive the simple act of telling the truth on one (1) single health fact could change diets overnight…and therefore, the health of a society. You can read or listen to the interview here: http://www.prescription2000.com/Interview-Transcripts/2011-02-18-william-castelli-heart-disease-lipids-transcript.html
The common knowledge that 200 isn’t safe and that under 130 is…would be a so-called game changer, diet changer, society changer. We are a numbers-driven, competitive, goal-oriented people. What if the goal was moved?
It is a little frustrating watching billions of money spent (given to research) and time lost, to demonstrate, in writing, whether every new incremntal, marginal health change or idea works or doesn’t. We should run a new experiment…tell the simple truth and see what happens.
I hope you’ll seek for yourself the truth in my 200/130 argument. Many are vested in NOT having us get healthier. The 200 guarantees it. Others say that the 130 number is unrealistic and say that “most Americans will never change their diets”. I say, don’t we owe it to our fellow man to share the truth and then let people respond for themselves? Who are we to withhold information because we “can’t handle the truth.” Give people the truth…period!
Note: Depending on how deeply you do your own research, the idea that you need to increase your HDL (the “good” cholesterol) to maintain heart health always comes up. HDL is used to process bad cholesterol (LDL) from your system. In light of the typical Standard American Diet and high LDL, you do need to raise HDL. However, much research shows (including the linked interview here), that if your total cholesterol is low enough, you DON’T need to raise your HDL…increasing levels of HDL becomes unnecessary.
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I’d be excited to hear your thoughts.