Are You Heart Attack Proof?

A total cholesterol reading under 150 could mean you are.

And yet, you will occasionally hear rumblings about how your cholesterol levels are ultimately not a reliable indication of your susceptibility to heart failure.  I beg to differ, as do a number of the most reliable, in-the-trenches authorities on the planet. Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Dean Ornish, Robert Kowalski, and the authors of The Stanford Life Plan For a Healthy Heart have all made clear recommendations that your total cholesterol should be under 150.

Here are a few more who agree:

• “Regularly maintaining a cholesterol level of less than 150 mg/dl makes one practically heart attack proof and insures against further progression of the disease.”  Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
• “Heart disease is virtually unknown in regions where cholesterol is under 150.” Colin Campbell
• “A reading below 150 gives the best assurance of protection against heart-related problems. A very important thing to note is that for every decrease of one percent in the cholesterol level, there is a 2% decrease in the risk of heart attack.”  Dr. Neal Bernard
• “Only a cholesterol level below 150 is satisfactory.”  Dr. Joel Fuhrman
• “We’ve never had a heart attack in Framingham in 35 years in anyone who had a cholesterol level under 150…Three-quarters of the people who live on the face of this Earth never have a heart attack. They live in Asia, Africa, and South America, and their cholesterols are all around 150.”  Dr. William Castelli, Medical Director of the Framingham Cardiovascular Institute in Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School
• “Heart disease is almost non-existent in places where blood cholesterol is very low. If your cholesterol is around 160 mg/dl or less, your risk of heart disease is virtually zero.”  Dr. Terry Shintani
• “There are few guarantees in life, but having a blood cholesterol level of less than 150 is probably the closest you can get to a guarantee that you will not be troubled with heart disease… If you can get your cholesterol under 150 you don’t even have to concern yourself with the further breakdown of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol analysis.” Kitty Gurkin Rosati, M.S., R.D., L.D.N.

Unfortunately, there are a number of other “expert” sources who haven’t quite put the math together on this one.

Example: The American Heart Association’s Step One Diet calls for a regimen that’s around 30% fat and a cholesterol level “below 200.”  Yet, around one-third of all first-time heart attack victims have cholesterol levels between 150 and 200!

How can this be?  Why would the AHA make such a recommendation?  It’s simple.  When you have medical authorities accepting money from food lobbies who are trying to promote high fat foods, guess what?  30% suddenly doesn’t seem too high.  And if you ask any of these “authorities” to quantify their recommendation with cases of heart disease reversal or even arrest, without the use of drugs or surgery, expect to wait a while for an answer.  We (of the holistic health community) are all still waiting to see or hear about even one case.  Check it out for yourself.

While this under-150 watermark might be next to impossible for certain folks (with a certain genetic predisposition), most people can achieve it by – you guessed it – eating foods devoid of cholesterol!  This means eating low on the food chain (non-animal sources), where cholesterol doesn’t exist.  That’s why doctors McDougall, Esselstyn, Campbell, Fuhrman, Barnard and others all advise eating minimally processed, high-fiber, nutrient dense plant-based foods, and avoiding animal products, fried foods, processed oils and refined sugars and flour.

Under 150, people!

About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of nine books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford. Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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6 Responses to Are You Heart Attack Proof?

  1. Lisamarie says:

    Yeah but the problem is that the general public doesn’t know this stuff, and many people only read what some of the other “experts” say. It really troubles me to see how many “dieticians” who answer these Q&A’s in diet blogs, magazines and news websites, etc tell people it’s OK to eat fish, low-fat dairy products(as if there is really such a thing), and eggs, when they are SUPPOSED to know something about how these foods affect the body. And it’s troubling to see how many people believe it, and go on eating dairy, eggs, and all this other stuff then wonder why they’re not losing weight, or why when they go for a check-up they suddenly have high BP, cholesterol, or a lump on the breast or something. Then of course ONLY if they’re lucky will they have a Dr. like MacDougal or Ornish who will tell them the TRUTH about why they have that problem and that they need to cut out ALL animal products.
    It’s really doing the world an injustice by not requiring med students to have training in nutrition, and I’m not talking about ones who are funded by the meat and dairy industries, of course, like mainstream nutrition schools are. It’s really sad–no wonder we have “professionals” out there with nothing more than a basic RD behind their name who don’t know any better than to recommed animal products to their clients, and it is therefore no wonder people are SO confused!

  2. Pauline says:

    If heart disease has only proliferated within the last hundred years or so, and yet foods that are relatively high in cholesterol have historically been consumed over millennia, should not the almost inviolate self-certainties of those that perpetuate the cholesterol/ heart disease link be regarded, at the very least, as being built on questionable foundations?

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  5. Great article!!!

    You are spot on as to why the fraudulent and fake AHA gives recommendations that are equivalent to patient assistant suicide.
    I’m so sick and tired of hearing these pathetic, sellout, money hungry Quack doctors give their “expert” opinions as they criticize real doctors like Esselstyn, Ornish, Fuhrman and McDougall.

    I lowered my cholesterol from 170 to 95 in two weeks eating the Esselstyn diet. My cholesterol stays in the 90s, fluctuating between 95 and 99. My LDL fluctuates between 56 and 64 and my HDL fluctuates between 19 and 25.
    My weight went from 230 to 190. I no longer have heartburn or constipation and my energy level is sky high. I take no statins or any other kinds of meds, all is by a whole foods plant based diet.

  6. Eric Shrieves says:

    After receiving an arterial stent (Right Coronary Artery) I went totally plant based for 2 years— Total Cholesterol is now 81 and LDL of 21(!!)-Perhaps too low -(hormone level deficiency).. Strangely, my numbers before (with the 99% occlusion) showed a total cholesterol of 112 and an LDL of 42, so, I don’t think that being “bullet proof” at below 150 total /70 LDL is necessarily true!!

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