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Cholesterol myths are everywhere!

You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (border lining obsession) about cholesterol, right?



Before we jump into some myths let's make sure we're on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall. In fact, depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart. Yes, the opposite!

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood. These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”.

They're grouped into two main categories:
● HDL: High-Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
● LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

And yes, it's even more complicated than this. Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So “cholesterol” isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile, to help you absorb dietary fats. Not to mention that it's incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

Talk about an important molecule!

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL: HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

 

  
Myth #3: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

As with almost everything in health and wellness, there's a balance that needs to be maintained. There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

Myth #4: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

Guess what does?

Nutrition and exercise, baby!

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies. I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day. Every day.

Don't worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

Join the Plant-based Ketogenic Reset


You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats. That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil. Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day. You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are. And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

 



Lime Hemp Seed Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup of lime 

½ shallot, peeled and chopped finely

1 tsp of turmeric powder

dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

Serve on top of your favorite salad and enjoy it!

Tip: Store extra in an airtight container in the fridge. Will keep for about a week.

 

References:

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-cholesterol

http://summertomato.com/how-to-raise-your-hdl-cholesterol

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-9-biggest-lies-about-dietary-fat-and-cholesterol/

 


***Blog Post Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and this e-book is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or to be mistaken for medical advice. While I am a certified Holistic Integrative Health & Wellness Coach and Certified Culinary Educator, I’m not a registered dietician, nutritionist, nurse or doctor. Please always consult with your physician before beginning any new diet or health regimen! So please keep calm and upgrade your wellness at your own risk

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