Even though I am really mad at Dr. Oz, I still DVR his daily show and watch the ones that look interesting to me…I couldn’t wait to finish work yesterday and watch the episode about the cholesterol controversy and it was very, very interesting. I have always believed we DO need cholesterol (just not the bad kind) as it plays important roles in keeping us healthy, as it effects our hormones and more. I have also been against statins since our old primary care physician wanted to push them on Mitch and I way back when Lipitor first came into the med market. I believe that he believed it was the miracle drug…I am thankful that I am a skeptic when it comes to better living through chemistry. Watching the doc (cardiologist) and nutritionist on the show re-affirmed much of what I have come to believe through a lot of research—statins are definitely NOT for women and in fact only seem to have benefit for some men. NO studies have shown that they prevent heart disease in women. Studies have shown that they increase the incidence of type 2 diabetes and according to these guys, also increase the risk for cancer, never mind the seemingly less dramatic side effects like muscular pain and weakness. I know of a woman who’s heart muscle was eaten away by her statins….all of a sudden, not such a less dramatic side effect. Over and over and over again, the big risks for the big diseases are obesity, too much sugar and….stress. We cannot expect good health if our weight is over the top. We can’t expect a doctor or our health care system to fix what we need to fix in our kitchens and gyms. Period.
**IF you are having problems with your cholesterol, first know your ratio (HDL is really good for us) and then ask your doctor for the PARTICLE TEST. Only certain types of cholesterol (the small particles) even pose a problem…I truly believe this whole cholesterol concern was blown way out of proportion to fill the pockets of BIG PHARMA and those that rep for them.
As a bonus on this episode…SOY and the controversy over how good or bad it is for us. Does it increase risks for breast cancer? What are the best sources of soy? Turns out tempeh is a better source of soy than even tofu and edamame which are both also great. Obviously multi ingredient products such as soy milk were not as great because of the sugar. According to the nutritionist, the only people that need to watch their soy is those who take medication for their thyroid–and even then it was suggested to simply wait at least an hour between taking the medication and eating the soy. The nutritionist believes that most of the negative information floating around about soy and caner are basically nothing but urban legends, and in fact in all countries where soy intake is high, breast cancer is very low. People get nervous when they hear the word estrogen but plant-estrogen is not the same as human estrogen, and 1-2 servings a day was the recommendation. Phew, I am relieved. It is an excellent source of protein for this plant-eater, as it is for most.
Finally, on this vegan (feast) Thursday, we move on to the question of “where do vegans get their all important, bone-building, calcium?” If you are on a HEALTHY plant-based diet, you are probably getting enough calcium from all your leafy greens, but it’s easy to get more with calcium fortified soy or almond milk, calcium fortified orange juice and in smaller amounts, nuts, beans and grains. We also need to get ample vitamin D (which, by the way, statins deplete, from what I understand) and do our bone-building almost daily exercises!
So good health always comes back to the basics…eating a vast rainbow of colors, getting enough sunshine, managing our weight and our stress and…. exercising, which is pretty much the magic bullet.