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Waitaminute! Cholesterol Not A Big Deal?!

(Photo by Matt McClain for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

When I saw a headline entitled “the great cholesterol myth,” I thought maybe I’d been done in by that peanut butter bacon cheeseburger I had Friday night and was in heaven.

It turns out that lowering cholesterol may not necessarily prevent heart disease. This exciting news comes not from the fast food industry, but from Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of “The Great Cholesterol Myth.” “It’s not even really a good predictor of heart disease,” Bowden told Fox News. “Half the people who are admitted to hospitals in America with cardiovascular disease have normal cholesterol – and half the people with elevated cholesterol have normal hearts.”

However, Bowden doesn’t think cholesterol has nothing at all to do with heart disease. He just thinks focusing too much on cholesterol takes the focus away from other important factors that contribute to cardiovascular problems – such as inflammation, oxidative damage, stress and sugar in the diet. While he does think eating a healthy diet is important, Bowden believes a bigger factor for a healthy lifestyle is reducing stress. “Lower stress in your life, which is a huge contributor to heart disease – probably way more than cholesterol,” Bowden said.  “Lower the stress, lower the toxins in your life, including toxic relationships and eat less sugar, because the problem isn’t with fat – it’s with sugar in the diet.”So I guess I can occasionally have a peanut butter bacon cheeseburger, as long as I’m lowering my stress, maintaining healthy relationships, exercising, and eating healthy foodsas well. Sounds like a good plan to me.

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