You might be temporarily satisfied after that T-bone steak dinner you had last night, or those deep-fried chicken wings from Friday’s outing, but when these meals become a regular occurrence, you could be harming your body over the long term.
Consuming a high-saturated-fat and high-cholesterol diet is something you should quickly save yourself from! Putting these foods into your body day in, day out, can lead to a variety of health problems, affecting nearly every organ in the body.
What foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol?
Things like meat (fatty cuts, bacon, sausage, processed meats, etc.), eggs (mainly the yolks), all dairy products, butter, lard, shortening, hydrogenated vegetable oils, and processed grain products like cookies, cakes, muffins and pastries. Limiting these foods to once or twice a week (or even completely eliminating them) will give your body a much needed break.
When we operate on diseased blood vessels, this is what we find. FAT!! The fat is inflamed and blocking the vessel. We do not find sugar! We find cholesterol and fat. I can go through tonnes of science but no one seems to listen, so lets use common sense. Look at this vessel below. Look at the yellow fat deposits. After you eat a meal with fat and cholesterol it circulates in your blood. The meal causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the vessel wall, and this fat gets into the lining of the vessel and causes this picture. If you do not eat fat and cholesterol, then you do not get this. Vegans do not have vessels like this even if they eat sugar! — Dr. Garth Davis
This is not to say that all fats are bad. In fact, some fats like avocado, hemp/chia/pumpkin & sunflower seeds, nuts, and coconut are incredibly beneficial to the body, and can even help ward off certain disease and illnesses. Substituting these fats for other, more body-harming saturated fats, is a great way to get your body back on track, and can even help you shed unwanted weight.
How a Standard American Diet Affects The Body
Here are ways in which a high-saturated fat and high-cholesterol diet can affect the different organs in your body:
You might drool at the thought of that greasy pizza, but what is it doing to your brain? A study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who consumed diets rich in saturated fats (mostly foods like butter and red meat) had the worst changes in their cognitive function and memory. Women who consumed the most monounsaturated fats had better cognition and memory during the length of the study which took place over four years.
Because cardiovascular health is largely associated with the health of our brains, this relationship is not surprising. Making proper substitutions for the right fats can be a simple way to help prevent cognitive decline in older individuals.
In addition, diets that are also high in cholesterol (which is normally a given if an individuals’ diet is high in saturated fat) can increase the risk of dementia and may lead toward Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have linked saturated fats in red meat (also found in cookies, crackers, ice cream and whole milk) to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, mainly because it raises our “bad” or LDL cholesterol levels.
Having large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats in the blood increases the risk of having thickened blood vessels throughout the body, causing them to narrow and reducing blood supply to the heart. Reduced blood supply to the heart results in a death of cells in the heart itself, or in other words, “Coronary Artery Disease.”
Another side effect of high cholesterol is the formation of plaques on the walls of your arteries which can result in arterial blockage or blood vessel rupture. This is called atherosclerosis, or hardening of the artery walls, and can result in weakness, chest pain, headaches and leg cramps.
High cholesterol levels, in severe or advanced stages, can lead to stomach and abdominal pain. Fatty acid deposits on our liver or spleen, as a direct result of consuming a high-cholesterol, high-fat diet, place pressure on other organs in the abdominal cavity, leading to unexplained stomach or abdominal pain.
Foods that are high in saturated fat are also very hard for the stomach to process. Meat, dairy and eggs all contain a significant amount of saturated fat and cholesterol and may take hours or even days to digest. This can lead to a feeling of sluggish-ness and fatigue, as well as a general lack of motivation.
A high-fat diet impairs liver regeneration which means less efficient means of ridding the body of toxic substances. High blood-fat and cholesterol levels make the liver sluggish and this directly reflects how we will feel – common complaints are fatigue, un-explained abdominal pain and brain fog. High leptin levels as a result of consuming a high saturated fat diet can also aggravate the inflammatory activity of TNF-alpha, which is known to induce liver injury.
A good way to cleanse the liver is to consume a wide variety of bitter greens like arugula, dandelion greens, and supplement with herbs like milk thistle and nettle tea. Beets are also wonderful liver cleansers and help infiltrate and refresh our blood.
Atherosclerosis in the kidney arteries is triggered by an over-abundance of fats and cholesterol in the diet. This is one of the leading causes for failing kidneys. When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, this can eventually lead to the build-up of plaques in the arterial walls, reducing the efficiency and overall function of the kidneys (since their main job is to help filter the blood of toxins sent from the liver, and to flush them out via excretion when we pass urine).
When fat and toxicant deposits accumulate in the kidneys, they don’t function as well as they should. This can result in fatigue, edema, skin problems and bad breath.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (Chron’s, IBS, ulcerative colitis, etc.) occur mostly only in areas of the world where the diet is high in meat and dairy foods. A high-fat, high-cholesterol, low fiber American diet is also one of the main causes of developing cancer in the colon. Reducing the amount of animal fats in your diet can help relieve both diarrhea and constipation, and will improve the ability of the tiny cilia in your intestine to absorb nutrients more efficiently (and thus will get rid of any vitamin or mineral deficiencies you might be suffering from).
The standard American diet (SAD), is low in fibre (as stated above), and can lead to a host of problems for the digestive tract. Without enough fibre, we become backed up, stagnant, and re-absorb old toxins that were meant to be eliminated in the first place. Fibre is something the body also uses to help lower our LDL cholesterol levels, which in the end, improves our circulation and reduces our risk of cardiovascular disease.
You normally wouldn’t think that putting foods into your body would have an effect on the state of your body externally, but that definitely isn’t the case! Your skin is in fact one of the largest organs in the body, and directly reflects what happens on the inside.
Due to the low digesting properties of high-fat, high-cholesterol laden foods (and given that these foods are low-vibrational to begin with), our liver and kidneys are weighed down with heavy processing and essentially never stop working. This can directly effect the state of our skin, since if our liver and kidneys are “burned out,” they are no longer doing their job of eliminating toxins. Instead, toxins are shunted to be eliminated by other means, and in many cases they come out through your skin!
Excessive toxin build up in deeper layers of the skin can manifest as dermatitis, eczema, premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, brown liver spots, red itchy rashes, hives, psoriasis, acne and rosacea.
What does saturated fat and cholesterol have to do with our bones? Researchers at the Duke Medical Center found that placing mice on high cholesterol diets prevented the development of new bone cells and stimulated bone breakdown.
Not only does high cholesterol from a high saturated fat diet result in bone density loss, but the acidic levels of these foods also contribute to mineral leeching from the bones. When our body is in a highly acidic state, it goes into a sort of shock and immediately draws upon alkaline mineral reserves found in our bones (aka. calcium, magnesium, etc.). This results in brittle, weaker bones, and is a major trigger for developing osteoporosis later in life.