Time To Myth-Bust Some Misconceptions On Cholesterol

Cholesterol has been highly stigmatized and painted as the primary cause for heart-disease. This makes most of us apprehensive to have any more of those fries, ribs or butter, hence cutting all fatty-foods from our diets.

This is followed up with taking those cholesterol controlling pills, which apparently over 1 in 4 Americans are popping although it has a huge list if ill side-effects.

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This is all because of the infamous reputation cholesterol has been given over the years, as the evil clogger of arteries. But, actually some of it is necessary for our bodies to even function properly.

Here are some eye-opening facts that reintroduce us to cholesterol and bust some of the oh-so-believed myths, once and for all.

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Cholesterol = Bad:

Sorry, but no, it’s not all bad. Without cholesterol, your liver would cease to function, and did you know that your liver creates close to 3/4ths of your body’s cholesterol? The best food for your body are high in cholesterol. In fact, it helps guide your body to process proteins effectively, balances cellular functions, and helps cells effectively work with each other, like when there is an excess of acids. It also benefits your brain, as it is a vital component for forming connections between your neurons, called synapses. This is critical for creating memories, thinking and learning new things.

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High Cholesterol = Your Food:

No. Just, no. Cholesterol can also be genetically inherited and only 20% of our blood cholesterol comes from what we eat. Since, the liver is responsible for making sure that any extra cholesterol is taken out of the body. So whatever cholesterol is left to cause havoc and is not going away, is probably from your genes. This includes those with genetically passed-on hypercholesterolemia, where the cholesterol levels do not lower no matter what diet and lifestyle solutions they follow. So, eating food with high natural cholesterol is good and does not necessarily raise alarms. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) suggested that there is no correlation between eating that bacon, steak, eggs, butter or cheese, with high-cholesterol levels.

One Number For All Cholesterol:

That depends, really. Putting aside what doctors say, there’s no such rule that says a person’s high-density lipoprotein (HDL) needs to be more than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or that your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) needs to be less than 100 mg/dL. And no, this tells you nothing about your risk for heart disease.

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Kids Cannot Have Cholesterol: Well, kids can have high cholesterol levels, usually meaning they got some liver issues, because it is unable to get rid of the extra cholesterol in the body. Being young and malleable, they can easily fix this with some exercise, eating natural and not processed foods, reducing sugar consumption.

Margarine Or Butter For Better Cholesterol? What?!:

Raw organic butter from grass-fed cows, actually have amazing nutritional benefits for both the short-run and long-run. A research study in Sweden proved that the amount of fat in your blood is low after consuming food with butter more than food with flaxseed oil, olive oil and even canola oil. Moreover, consuming food with more vegetable fat is worse especially if it’s used as a substitute for animal fats, showing a higher risk of heart-disease. Animal fats that are saturated actually increase HDL cholesterol levels and the size of LDL particles to a healthier one (smaller the LDL particles, the higher the risk of many serious diseases).

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Cholesterol Pills For A Better Heart?:

After a 2015 trial for cholesterol-controlling pill, evacetrapib, the short-term results showed amazing cholesterol control, but by 2016, deeper studies showed no effect on heart wellness, with 90% of the candidates on the drug getting a stroke and heart attack, much higher than ones on the placebo. This further proved that these cholesterol-control pills are useless or worsen heart health.

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Now that you have been enlightened, here are some no-pill solutions au naturel:

Pickle Me Some Wellness:

Adding some fermented food is good for your everyday diet, increasing the level of good bacteria in your digestive system, improving your immunity, and balancing good bacteria in your mouth, as bad oral health is a strong predictor of potential heart disease.

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Make It Raw:

Without popping pills, some ways to control cholesterol include, lowering sugar (especially fructose) and gluten-rich grains in your diet. Just have raw vegetables and fruits, and food rich in animal-sourced omega-3 fats, such as fish oil, instead of vegetable oils. A little bit of butter, eggs and coconut oil should be alright too.

More Of ‘D’:

Increase the amount of vitamin D in your daily regimen, be it from sun light, as it helps fight the radicals in the blood that eventually turn into artery blockages.

The Classics:

Yes, do get some regular exercise, especially core exercises that make you sweat and keep your heart pumping. Cut down on those smokes and booze. Get good-quality sleep of about 6 to 8 hours and learn to manage that stress.

Now, let’s get scientific and better understand how your blood and cholesterol work together:

When going for any standard blood cholesterol test, we often get this long list of results with complex words and numbers next to them. Utterly confused, most of us need to search each word online or ask doctors what they even mean. This inevitably leads to various misconceptions and makes that test feel pointless. So…

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First, chart out what your genetic history is when it comes to cholesterol and heart disease and then ask to get a NMR LipoProfile.

Second, when getting your cholesterol checked, it doesn’t tell you about how healthy you are. However, what you do need to check for is the level of HDL and LDL that you have and also the size of the LDL cholesterol particles in your body. Large LDL particles are good, while small hard ones can be sticky and can block your blood arteries, and even cause serious damage for those with low anti-oxidants in their diet. Although, the National Lipid Association (NLA), suggests paying more attention to LDL particle size it still hasn’t picked up pace commercially.

Third, high HDL levels are a risk so make sure it is lower than 24%, your triglycerides should be lower than 2, keep low insulin levels are good as excess shows high secretion for digesting fatty foods that can contribute to heart-disease, maintain low-blood sugar no more than 80 mg/dl and also keep iron or ferritin levels at about 80 ng/ml, as excess can cause oxidation stress to your blood vessels.