ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Holten: A magic snack

Do you know what a statin is? If you don't, it probably means that your cholesterol level has not yet climbed as high as the Empire State Building, World Trade Center or the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

2603845+0615 Holten.jpg

Do you know what a statin is? If you don't, it probably means that your cholesterol level has not yet climbed as high as the Empire State Building, World Trade Center or the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. So, assuming you're one of the lucky ones, let me tell you that a statin is any of a group of drugs that acts to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol, in your blood. Because, apparently, it's those two things that clog up your arteries like bits of strawberries do the straw you suck on when you slurp down a milkshake.
Now, statins reduce cholesterol by blocking the enzymes that create it. In addition, they reabsorb existing cholesterol. Well, not actually. What they really do is trick your body into absorbing extra cholesterol. You see, your body needs cholesterol to digest food, make hormones and absorb vitamin D. But when statins lower the cholesterol levels in your blood, your body has to find it someplace else so it reabsorbs cholesterol that is clogging up your arteries. We call that cholesterol plaque. The whole process is quite miraculous really. Unfortunately, it's also a bit of a "rob Peter to pay Paul" situation. That's because in the process of doing good, the statins also do bad. It's kind of like your sister-in-law who married your older brother, made an honest man out of him, birthed his children, and then cheated on him and wrecked his life. Statins do the same thing except, instead of cheating on your brother, they injure your liver, help cause diabetes, cause memory loss, and induce muscle pain and weakness. Research shows there is a link between low cholesterol, statin use and cancer. Ultimately you'd probably rather be blessed with a little cholesterol buildup than some cancer. So basically, statins can both start and destroy a good party, which puts you in the situation of having to pick your poison. Or does it? Fortunately, I have an alternative plan for you if your cholesterol is high. Do you know what it is? Go to the movies. That's right because going to the movies can lower your cholesterol if you do two things: Buy popcorn and forgo the butter. In that way, popcorn can be the cavalry that rushes in and saves the day, or better yet, your life. You see, popcorn is a whole grain that is packed with tons of fiber and natural nutrients packaged in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and disease. As a heavy grain, it strips excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and arteries. This not only prevents atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, but also reduces the strain on your cardiac system, since it keeps the heart from having to work so hard to keep the blood flowing. In that way, it's a lot like when the California Highway Patrol cleared off the San Diego freeway in Los Angeles so that O.J. Simpson's white bronco could sail along with ease. Plus popcorn has anti-inflammatory properties, it's good for the immune system, protects cells against free radical damage, promotes weight loss, in addition to digestive health, and it may help you control blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. In other words, you could say that it is an anti-statin with the same benefits. And it leaves its evil cousins home when it comes to the party. Either way, popcorn is an alternative and there are others. Which reminds me of television evangelist, Father Fulton J. Sheen, who once said that hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.Do you know what a statin is? If you don't, it probably means that your cholesterol level has not yet climbed as high as the Empire State Building, World Trade Center or the 2,722-foot Burj Khalifa building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.So, assuming you're one of the lucky ones, let me tell you that a statin is any of a group of drugs that acts to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol, in your blood. Because, apparently, it's those two things that clog up your arteries like bits of strawberries do the straw you suck on when you slurp down a milkshake.
Now, statins reduce cholesterol by blocking the enzymes that create it. In addition, they reabsorb existing cholesterol. Well, not actually. What they really do is trick your body into absorbing extra cholesterol.You see, your body needs cholesterol to digest food, make hormones and absorb vitamin D. But when statins lower the cholesterol levels in your blood, your body has to find it someplace else so it reabsorbs cholesterol that is clogging up your arteries. We call that cholesterol plaque. The whole process is quite miraculous really.Unfortunately, it's also a bit of a "rob Peter to pay Paul" situation. That's because in the process of doing good, the statins also do bad. It's kind of like your sister-in-law who married your older brother, made an honest man out of him, birthed his children, and then cheated on him and wrecked his life.Statins do the same thing except, instead of cheating on your brother, they injure your liver, help cause diabetes, cause memory loss, and induce muscle pain and weakness. Research shows there is a link between low cholesterol, statin use and cancer. Ultimately you'd probably rather be blessed with a little cholesterol buildup than some cancer.So basically, statins can both start and destroy a good party, which puts you in the situation of having to pick your poison. Or does it?Fortunately, I have an alternative plan for you if your cholesterol is high. Do you know what it is? Go to the movies.That's right because going to the movies can lower your cholesterol if you do two things: Buy popcorn and forgo the butter. In that way, popcorn can be the cavalry that rushes in and saves the day, or better yet, your life.You see, popcorn is a whole grain that is packed with tons of fiber and natural nutrients packaged in magnesium, zinc, and antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and disease.As a heavy grain, it strips excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and arteries. This not only prevents atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, but also reduces the strain on your cardiac system, since it keeps the heart from having to work so hard to keep the blood flowing.In that way, it's a lot like when the California Highway Patrol cleared off the San Diego freeway in Los Angeles so that O.J. Simpson's white bronco could sail along with ease.Plus popcorn has anti-inflammatory properties, it's good for the immune system, protects cells against free radical damage, promotes weight loss, in addition to digestive health, and it may help you control blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes. In other words, you could say that it is an anti-statin with the same benefits. And it leaves its evil cousins home when it comes to the party.Either way, popcorn is an alternative and there are others.Which reminds me of television evangelist, Father Fulton J. Sheen, who once said that hearing nuns' confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.

Holten
Kevin Holten

What To Read Next
The Dickinson Press Editorial Board stands with the wild horses and calls on the National Park Service to extend public commentary period
“From the Hawks’ Nest” is a monthly column by Dickinson State University President Steve Easton
"Life is a team effort no matter what, and greed puts you out on a lonely limb," writes Kevin Holten.
"Our life of faith is a life with God. And that makes all the difference," writes Boniface Muggli