Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s found in animal-based foods such as meats, poultry, egg yolks, and whole milk, same sources as the saturated fats. What’s cool here is that if we follow the advice about reducing saturated fats, we are automatically reducing cholesterol intake.
So by switching to low-fat milk and dairy products, we are killing two dietary fat birds with one stone, saturated fats and cholesterol.
HDL vs LDL
Here is the real revelation about cholesterol. While we have been referring to it as a fatty substance, in actuality, cholesterol is an alcohol in the group of sterols. Note that it ends in the usual alcohol suffix “ol” as in ethyanol or methanol. LDL and HDL are the fats and both are carriers of cholesterol.
LDL has picked up the tag as bad cholesterol since in carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and HDL is called good cholesterol since it brings unprocessed cholesterol from the cells back to the liver. Having gotten that out of the way, we will keep using the conventional terminology of a “fatty substance” for cholesterol.
Now comes the warning about cutting out cholesterol completely. The facts are that we do need cholesterol to function properly. The idea is to keep the HDL cholesterol and minimize the LDL cholesterol. We can do that by eating healthy dietary fats from olive oil, fish and walnuts.
Another revelation from Dr. Andre A. Kulisz in one of his presentations on cholesterol, reports that nursing home residents who have the most heart attacks, strokes, transient ischemic attacks, and chronic inflammatory conditions have low cholesterol, usually artificially depressed by the overuse of statin drugs. Experience shows that the more depressed the cholesterol levels, the poorer the health.
We will get into the healthy fats shortly. We can also raise HDL levels through exercise, taking niacin and even having a little alcohol each night. In fact, we should try these before jumping to the statins.
Why do we want high HDL levels
Why do we want high HDL levels , at least over 40 mg/dl (but not
over 60)? HDL carries away the bad cholesterol but nevertheless, we do need some LDL cholesterol to repair damage to the walls of our arteries; just not too much, always less than 100 mg/dl.
The real scoop on cholesterol is that, even though it is a fatty substance, cholesterol makes up very little of our dietary fat intake.
It would be hard to raise our level of blood cholesterol by eating high cholesterol foods since over 80% of our cholesterol is produced by the liver from dietary animal fat and it produces only as much as the body needs. Less than 20% of cholesterol is absorbed in the GI tract during the digestive process.
We make cholesterol because it is an essential component of every cell, for example, the integrity of the cell membrane depends on it.
Cholesterol is also a building block for most steroid hormones in our body; like testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, progesterone and others. So let’s dispel the myth that eggs are bad for you. Wrong, they are good for you.
A study of 117,000 people showed that those who ate more than six eggs per week had the lowest risk of heart attacks and the group eating one egg per week or less had the highest rate of heart attacks.
The conclusion appears to be that eating eggs helps guard against heart attacks. Who would have guessed?
I am so relieved since I’ve been eating about 14 eggs a week for years. If eggs were bad for you I should have died a long time ago but guess what, my cholesterol levels are perfect. I think I’ll declare eggs, an essential nutrient.
Here’s the but…for health reasons and concern for animal welfare, do your utmost best to buy organic eggs from free range, pastured chickens, not the factory farmed variety sold in the supermarket cases. “Cage free” and “grain fed” are just marketing words, forget about it.