6 critical things I wish I knew three years ago about how to reduce cholesterol

After my diagnosis with Familial hypercholesterolemia in 2011 I spent three years searching for effective natural methods to lower cholesterol and gain heart health. I actually felt a little bit like a crazy outsider for much of this journey because most of the research I uncovered advised eating foods and making lifestyle changes that were the complete opposite to what is being distributed by most well meaning but misinformed doctors, healthcare practitioners and media outlets.

Below are the 6 critical facts I wish I had had on day one of my journey towards heart health. It would have saved me years of searching and improved my health all that much more quickly.

1. Almost everything we’ve been taught about how to eat to improve our heart health and reduce cholesterol is wrong

2. Focus on adding positive foods, not subtracting negative ones.

3. Fats are good, sugar is toxic and grains cause inflammation

4. Instead of exercise focus on simply any motion that is “not sitting”

  • Sitting is killing you.  If you sit at a desk for more than four hours a day, you increase your risk of death from any cause by nearly 50 percent and boost your risk of heart problems by 125 percent.
  • Japan is the world leader when it comes to the number of people who reach 100 years old or more. They do not take on rigorous exercise regimes rather they simply have more habits around moving their bodies in small ways. They walk everyday, they sit on the floor, they get up, they reach for things, etc. They are always engaged in light movement.

5. Don’t focus on lowering your cholesterol. Instead focus on avoiding and reversing heart disease. These are two different things entirely.

6. You need to have systems, tools and cookbooks that support your new lifestyle. Build these up over time, and keep learning.

  • Make a cholesterol lowering shopping list each week and create your meals using the incredibly yummy and guilt-free foods from this list.
  • There are 3 key steps to health and healing. For 99% of us, they do not involve doctors. Going to a doctor is not about becoming healthy or treating the root cause of your condition. It’s about removing the original symptom you present the doctor with. Doctors have 2 main “hammers”: drugs and surgery. Neither are pathways to “great health”, and neither will be there for you as a “health safety net” should you decide to eat poorly now.

I hope these 6 things save you some time in your own health journey. There are several new books about cholesterol that have come out in the last couple of years that are really cutting through the myths and helping to spread the real research about statins, cholesterol and heart health in general. If you are interested in the backstory then I highly recommend the read. Other than that the very first thing I woul