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Healthy Heart Reports

Oxycholesterol Verses Cholesterol


Two terms that many health writers do not understand are oxycholesterol and cholesterol. Most of the chemicals in your body and in your food are safe, but when many chemicals in your body and foods are oxidized and converted to oxidized forms they become poisons. Cholesterol is pure and safe for arteries. The cholesterol in fresh meat, fish, eggs and milk is safe. In fact, it functions as an antioxidant that protects your arteries.

On the other hand, when you lack vitamins B12, pyridoxine, or folic acid, huge amounts of a poison called homocysteine build up in your bloodstream to convert cholesterol to oxidized cholesterol known by the name of oxycholesterol, a potent poison that damages arteries and causes strokes and heart attacks. So one way to set yourself up for a heart attack is to eat a diet that is low in folic acid, pyridoxine or vitamin B12 that causes homocysteine to build up, that converts cholesterol to oxycholestreol. That's why you must eat whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts to provide these three vitamins and more.

Another way to cause a heart attack is to eat oxidized fats and cholesterol. The oils in vegetables such as corn and olive oil are primarily polyunsaturated and good and help to prevent heart attacks, but when you fry meats, chickens, diary products, eggs and fish with vegetable oils, you convert them to oxidized forms to cause heart attacks.

The oils in vegetables are good, but when they are removed from plants, they become rancid very quickly, so food manufacturer convert healthful polyunsaturated vegetable fats to partially hydrogenated or trans fats that are oxidized forms that cause heart attacks. You should avoid foods made with partially hydrogenated fats such as cereals, cookies, baked goods, prepared meals and so forth. The only way to find out if a prepared food contains partially hydrogenated fats is to read the list of ingredients; the nutrition information panel does not list them.

Almost all fried foods are oxidized, so you should avoid fried foods. Frying at high temperature convert fats to oxidized fats. Put this all together, and you should eat foods as close to the way nature gives them to you as possible. Use whole grains instead of bakery goods and pastas. Eat vegetables, seeds and nuts for their oils instead of the oils that are extracted from them. Avoid sugars that are added to cereals, yogurt, soft drinks and other foods. Do not eat anything that contains partially hydrogenated fats. And avoid highly precessed foods such as powdered milk, powdered eggs, and foods that are fried to contain oxycholesterols. Eat rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids for their heart-protecting antiinflammatory effects, including whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts and deep water fish.

Copyright 2003
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

For more recipes, refer to the The Healthy Heart Miracle book.