As I grew up, I always heard that high-fat foods such as butter, bacon and eggs caused heart disease. In place of the high-fat foods my consumption of carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, and sugar increased. Unfortunately, I gained weight, my blood glucose and carbohydrates were in the wrong column and I felt terrible. My eyes were opened when I tried the Paleo Diet and started feeling better almost immediately. I can only describe how I felt after my first week on Paleo as if I had been an overstuffed balloon that now had the perfect amount of air in it.
The overstuffed feeling, I came to discover, is caused by inflammation. This word, inflammation, is an important word because almost all of our modern day diseases are caused by inflammation. Dr. Beverly Teter from the University of Maryland, explains how the scientists 20 years ago became confused about cholesterol as the source of disease. When they would look at an inflamed blood vessel, they would see cholesterol cells clumping together. “It’s the inflammation in the vessels that start the lesion,” she explained. “The body then sends the cholesterol like a scab to cover over it to protect the blood system and the vessel wall from further damage.” These cholesterol cells, Dr. Teter explains, are sent by the body’s immune system to combat inflammation.
Many studies show people with high cholesterol actually live longer. Cholesterol also protects the body from lung and gastrointestinal disease and increases the body’s production of Vitamin D. Cholesterol is also used by the brain as fuel and this is the reason people say the cholesterol in coconut oil cures Alzheimer’s.
Do I need to tell you or have you figured out what causes inflammation in the body? Refined carbohydrates and sugars.
For more information about Cholesterol, Sugar and the science behind these theories see my post about Dr. Robert Lustig from the University of San Francisco called Dr. Robert Lustig.