Cholesterol-Heart Health Myths

Hay House Radio Episode Recap

  • Episode Name: “Cholesterol-Heart Health Myths”
  • Live Broadcast: September 12th, 2016 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time

Episode Replays: Mondays at 11:00 pm Pacific Time / 2:00 am Eastern Time and Sundays at 2:00 pm Pacific Time / 5:00 pm Eastern Time

Episode Summary Re-cap

Is cholesterol really bad for you? Does it really have an effect on your health? Learn the myths and truths about cholesterol, statins, heart disease, and the cholesterol-mood connection.

David Getoff Special Guest: David Getoff

David Getoff, CCN, CTN, FAAIM is a Board Certified Traditional Naturopath, a Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist, a Fellow of the American Association of Integrative medicine, an elected member of The American College of Nutrition, The International College of Integrative Medicine, The New York Academy of Sciences and the American Society for Nutrition and is the vice president of the 64 year old nonprofit Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation. He is also on the teaching faculty of the American College of Integrative Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey.

David is board certified in integrative medicine, has developed and produced over a dozen educational holistic health DVD’s on topics including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and detoxification and is the co-author of Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally.

David is on the scientific advisory board (non-paid positions) of a number of top manufacturers and is often asked for opinions as new products are being developed.

David is licensed in Nutrition in the State of New York, in Naturopathy in the State of North Carolina and has a waiting list private practice in El Cajon California. He has also developed the 10 week course entitled Attaining Optimal Health in the 21st Century which he has been teaching to packed classrooms through the Grossmont/Cuyamaca College extended studies program and the Price Pottenger Nutrition Foundation every semester for the past 20+ years.  This 30+ hour course is now available to be purchased by the public on-line through the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation for those who do not live in San Diego County.

David has been a paid presenter at numerous scientific medical, nutritional, dental and organic agriculture conferences around the U.S. and has given many one and two day seminars on diet, supplements and detoxification.

 “There is no treatment or drug which can overcome or negate the effects of a poor diet, inadequate nutrition, lack of exercise, and an unhealthy life style.”

David Getoff, Naturopath 

Learn more about David Getoff

Recorded Audio and Video Classes available for purchase from the non-profit Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation

Upcoming Training Event: 10 week Attaining Optimal Health Training

Heart-Health & Cholesterol Myths Revealed


While cholesterol has been vilified in mainstream medicine, it actually has a protective effect on the body. Every time the body senses a problem, it uses cholesterol to help. Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory for the body. Think of cholesterol as firemen. When a building is on fire, firemen come to put it out. If your house was on fire, would you blame the firemen and make them leave? The same is true for cholesterol. Like firemen, cholesterol is there to help your body deal with inflammation (to put out the fire in your body). The last thing you’d want to do is take a drug (statins) to stop the body from protecting itself.

Cholesterol helps with vitamin D3 synthesis through the skin.

Cholesterol & Heart Disease Myth

One of the studies that got everyone concerned about cholesterol and heart disease is a study done with rabbits (obligate vegetarians) and fed them damaged, oxidized cholesterol and it caused heart disease. When you take an animal that doesn’t naturally eat a certain food and force it to eat a damaged version of that food, you can’t expect the results to be good.

Numbers: Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL & Triglycerides

The number is hard to identify because each person is different and we don’t know what they need in terms of anti-inflammatory benefits of cholesterol. Research is showing that a number for total cholesterol has no real meaning. You are not more likely to be a candidate for heart disease with a total cholesterol reading of 240 or more than with a lower level, like 170.

LDL is not necessarily “bad cholesterol” because it has some helpful functions. For example, it helps to deliver important fat-soluble vitamins into the body, like vitamin A, D, E and K and CoQ10. The LDL cholesterol level measure is almost as irrelevant as total cholesterol.

The HDL cholesterol measure is a little more relevant. You are likely best off if your HDL level is between 50 – 80. If it’s above 85, it can indicate that your body is trying too hard to protect you from something, like poisons.

Evidence has shown some patterns that defy allopathic medical beliefs about cholesterol, for example, statistics on cholesterol and cancer: people with total cholesterol of tend to have average rates of cancer, while people with total cholesterol below 180 tend to experience above average rates of cancer. The highest cancer rates tend to show up in people with total cholesterol rates of 140 or below.

Triglycerides have a lot of meaning. A healthy number seems to be between 40 – 100, although there can be some variances. Triglycerides are easy to modulate with diet. Triglycerides over 100 can mean your diet is full of “sabotage foods,” like starches, sugar, and alcohol. If you are eating a lot of sabotage foods, your body may want to protect you with cholesterol.


Because starches turn into triglycerides and sugar, they greatly increase our risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and cause most of our current obesity. Our ancestors expended significantly more energy through their daily work than we do today, which allowed them to burn up starches more easily than we do today.

One tip: starch and carbohydrate are not the same term. Non-starchy vegetables could be considered a carbohydrate, but it’s absolutely not the same as a starchy food or vegetable. What we really want to reduce is fruits, grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.


Many doctors have suggested that fat is a “bad” food and raises cholesterol, however, healthy fats (see list of foods to eat and avoid, below) are actually very good for your blood sugar balance and brain health. Fat has a satiating and mood-boosting effect. While most people have been taught that starchy foods are important for boosting serotonin, the happiness hormone, it’s actually fats and stable blood sugar that support better moods.

The enemy for our wellbeing is a spikes and dips in blood sugar, moving it out of the healthy range of 75-90).  The foods that keep blood sugar stable are fats and oils. If you have adequate fats or oils in your meals, you can eat 3 meals per day and not feel hungry between meals. We are meant to eat 3 meals per day with stable blood sugar in between.

Statin Drugs

The purpose of Statins, according to allopathic medicine, is to lower cholesterol. However, lowering cholesterol – the very thing that may be protecting our bodies from inflammation – is the wrong goal. The goal is to find out the root cause of increased cholesterol and work on that.

In addition to causing many side effects, statins drugs have not been proven to help women of any age.

Statin drugs contribute to problems, such as:

  • The liver’s ability to process fructose, which can contribute to fatty liver.
  • The bioavailability of vitamins A, D, E and K due to lowered LDL cholesterol.
  • The availability of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is responsible for mitochondrial energy and aerobic metabolism.
  • Muscle pain from lactic acid buildup, which adequate cholesterol could have benefitted.
  • Hair loss
  • Memory
  • Eyesight (cataracts)
  • Hearing
  • Side effects, like Parkinson’s, heart and liver failure, muscle damage, and neuropathy.
Natural Alternatives to Statins

A healthy diet and cod liver oil (like Carlson’s or Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil). For dietary guidelines, see below.

Foods to Eat & Avoid for Heart and Digestive Health

Foods to Avoid

Starches, fruit and sugar are the fastest to ferment, which means they are often behind symptoms of bloating. Fiber is another possible cause of bloating. Some people need fiber for regularity, but it’s not required for health.

  • Refined fats – fats that have been heated and treated are rancid and have toxic preservatives. These are the fats that are harmful to the liver and body.
  • Starches – flour products (bread, cookies, pastry, etc.), legumes (beans, peanuts), all grains (including gluten and gluten-free grains) and starchy vegetables (potatoes of all colors, sweet potatoes, winter squashes, corn).
  • Fruit – fructose causes an increase in blood sugar that contributes to insulin problems, obesity and high triglycerides.
  • Sugar and high glycemic sweeteners – cane sugar, white sugar, agave, honey, maple syrup, dried fruit, and molasses.
  • Artificial sweeteners – Splenda, NutraSweet, etc.

Foods to Eat

A balanced meal would have a good quality animal protein, plenty of healthy fat, non-starchy vegetables (think a wide variety of colors for your vegetables) and some spices you like. In terms of quantity, if you are hungry in less than 3 hours, you may not have had enough food, particularly fat.

  • Grassfed and Pasture fed meats and poultry – animals eating their native diet and out on pasture have a 400% increase in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats and are healthier (organic grass or pasture fed is even better). Red meat that is more rare is easier to digest.
  • Wild caught fish – like salmon, haddock, and snapper, etc.
  • Eggs from pasture fed chickens.
  • Raw (unpasteurized) milk from grassfed cows
  • Non-starchy vegetables – examples are lettuce, broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, zucchini, asparagus, summer squash, and bok choy. Some people do much better with slow cooked vegetables vs. raw vegetables.
  • Unrefined fats – extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, unrefined walnut oil, raw organic grassfed butter, ghee, chicken schmaltz, duck fat, pig lard, and beef tallow.
  • Sweeteners – the only sweeteners David recommends are luo han gao, stevia, and yacon syrup.

Recipe of the Day: Heather’s Easy Oxtail Bone Broth


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Is cholesterol really bad for you? Join me and guest David Getoff on Hay House Radio to learn the myths and truths about cholesterol, statins and heart disease.
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As a coach, writer and recovered former executive, I understand the challenges of creating a balanced, healthy lifestyle when over-scheduled. In my journey to radiant health, I created a whole health system of eating, exercise, renewal and recharging -- a roadmap toward health & vitality. I empower clients to create their own whole health systems, in their own unique ways. I have seen amazing results in working with my clients!