When I was around 42 years old, 100 pounds, and still barely 5 feet tall, for the first time ever I had my cholesterol levels tested in a routine annual exam. Well - they came back VERY bad and at that time I was eating your normal meat, cheese, and veggie diet and staying at the same weight for about 20 years and a size 4. I knew I had to stay away from sugar, potatoes, bread and white rice as much as possible because I always gained weight if I ate those things. No advanced nutritional science here - I just knew my body and my body told me it couldn't metabolize those things and every ounce I ate would end up as pounds on my hips and thighs. Well, to be honest, I didn't really know anything about the word "metabolize" at that time - I just simply gained weight - enough said.


The doctor at that time was amazed that not only was my LDL (bad stuff) very high, my triglycerides were also very high (very not good). But my HDL's  (the good guys) at that time were quite high and probably because I walked every day. He decided and I agreed I didn't need to take any medicine for it - yet. Of course, the statins such as Lipitor weren't quite as routinely given back then.  The point I want to get across is at that time they were teaching low-fat, low calorie diets to lower cholesterol. I was in nursing school and needed to do a teaching presentation for my speech class and decided to make that my subject. So, I studied everything I could find to teach others what they should eat to keep their cholesterol down. All of my research from your routine medical research journals to the registered dietitions' comments told me I could and should eat bagels because they are "low fat", and yes, I could eat those low-fat cookies even though they had an amazing amount of grams of sugar in them. Hey, I was excited - I could now eat things I thought I couldn't!! Everything I read said as long as the fat content (ANY fat) was low, regardless of the sugar or starch content, would be okay and, in fact, good. 

Follow me here a year later as I gained 30 pounds (that's a lot on a 5' frame), probably in less than a year and my cholesterol, of course, didn't go down at all. I continued this way for many years (about 20 years) until I realized on my own that this wasn't working (apparently I'm not such a quick learner.) That's when I started looking at less meat, no white stuff, more veggies and fruits and I slowly transitioned into mostly raw for one summer (which I blogged about here) and I quickly lost those 20 pounds, easily and I certainly didn't eat any less. We ate huge salads almost every day. 

Well, now the prevailing wisdom and recommendations have turned their course and the medical establishment has decided that maybe those weren't such good recommendations. They still haven't learned or are convinced that proper nutrition can in fact heal the body without pharmaceutical medications, but studies such as the one here will help convince them. Now the rest of us who knew it already can sit back and just say "we told ya' so!"  I routinely eat one avocado a day if I can find them for less than $1.50 each and I can now - thank you Trader Joe's!! Mainly because I just love them, and I knew the fat in them was good fat so I wasn't counting fat calories. Luckily Warren doesn't like avocado's - I don't like to share and besides we can only afford one avocado addict in this family.

Thank you Canadian Medical Association! Take a copy of the abstract from the original study linked to below the next time you go to your doctor - or better yet before getting that prescription refilled. Absolutely don't, of course, go off any medications without first discussing it with your doctor - but now you have something he or she might actually listen to.

ADDENDUM: October 29, 2012:

I ate an avocado for breakfast this morning - totally filling, satisfying and good. I decided to look once again at the nutritional values in eating just one. Here is a link where all of that is broken down quite extensively and clearly. The article that is linked below is about the incredible value of increasing "monounsaturated" fats into your diet to increase the good cholesterol (HDL). Avocado's are FULL of monosaturated fats.

And below is the clinical study proving that including monounsaturated fats into your diet is a very good thing.

Thanks for listening!