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True Culprits of High Cholesterol

What if I told you tap water and homogenized milk may be two of the biggest culprits in skyrocketing rates of high cholesterol? Cholesterol is actually being produced by our own bodies all of the time as a natural mechanism to combat oxidation when our bodies are diseased. Therefore, if we are not well, our cholesterol levels are likely to be higher regardless of what we eat that contains cholesterol. Having too low of a cholesterol level is just as bad as having too high.

Avoiding eggs and other foods that naturally contain cholesterol may not be the best solution, nor taking cholesterol-lowering drugs with their plethora of harmful side effects. For example, eggs are actually extremely healthy in moderation, being that they contain nutrients present at the beginning of life. Fatty meats are often harmful simply because fats store toxins, and animals not raised naturally have often been injected with antibiotics, hormones, steroids, and graze on grounds containing pesticides and fertilizer residue.

Two of the most harmful, and most common, everyday products we are ingesting that contribute to high cholesterol, and thus plaque in the arteries, are homogenized milk and chemically-treated tap water.

The explanation is far more complicated than I will cover here, but basically homogenizing milk involves the breaking down of fat particles to such a small size that the milk looks nice and smooth with no chunks of cream, but these smaller fat particles can permeate the intestines and end up in your blood stream. On the other hand, fresh unhomogenized milk from the farm, assuming the cows have not been exposed to chemicals, with its cream floating to the top, is natural and not a harmful form of fat. The larger fat molecules pass through the digestive system and nutrients are properly absorbed without fat entering the bloodstream. This cream, of course, can also be skimmed off the top of the milk and used for other purposes.

Studies have shown that many of the chemicals present in tap water that were added to kill bacteria, such as chlorine, often react with and oxidize cholesterol already in the body, forming a gummy substance (plaque) that actually sticks to, and clogs, the arteries. And there are many more dangerous side effects of drinking chemically-treated water.

What can you do about it? If you want to lower your cholesterol, which is not an easy task once your body is not functioning properly regardless how much cholesterol you eliminate in your diet, first eliminate homogenized milk and stop drinking and cooking with tap water whenever possible. If you can't always get unhomogenized milk, such as from a health store or organic farm, then fat-free regular organic milk is the next best choice so you're not getting chemicals nor as much cholesterol. If you can afford it, put a good filter in your bathtub or shower and/or install a whole-house distillation system, as even bathing in chemically treated water is harmful because it absorbs through your pores, and chemicals in the steam are inhaled.

And don't think you can turn to bottled waters -- sometimes bottled waters are no better, as they can contain runoff from groundwater containing pesticides and fertilizers that are not removed and do not have to be reported. If the bottle says it has been purified by both reverse osmosis and carbon/charcoal treatments, it may be less contaminated. The healthiest water available today for purchase is probably distilled water, which most closely mimics the sun's natural way of purifying water.

The best way to bind and pull cholesterol out of your body naturally and avoid chemicals is by eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables (preferably organic and chemical-free) that haven't been processed or "enriched" by synthetic means such as bleached white breads, white rice, white pasta, etc. Since your body has been overoxidizing, antioxidants may help speed recovery, and hence indirectly lower cholesterol. There are natural and safe cholesterol-lowering supplements available at health stores, including plant-based polycosinol, but always check to make sure there are no supplement, herb, or drug interactions if you are, or plan to continue, taking medications concurrently. Never stop medications abruptly. And lastly, since much of our soil has been depleted of minerals from chemicals, and most processed foods lack sufficient vitamins, most people should always take a potent natural vitamin and mineral supplement to help speed healing and to maintain their health.

To view a version of this article containing links to free informative resources that will help you combat high cholesterol, please visit the original article on the NatureGem web site at www.naturegem.com, where you can select the article title.

Deb Bromley is a science and technology researcher and the President of NatureGem Nontoxic Living, an organization devoted to promoting awareness of toxins in our food and environment that can cause disease, and providing access to nutrition information, natural remedies, and alternative health resources.

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