As much as people think they know about cholesterol, there are always some myths floating around. Here we debunk some of the most common cholesterol myths:
People cringe as soon as they hear the word “cholesterol”. Little did they know, not everything about it is bad. Cholesterol is more complex. Although high levels of cholesterol are unhealthy, cholesterol itself plays a vital part in many bodily functions, including nerve cell insulation and providing structural support for cell membranes.
While eggs do have huge amounts of dietary cholesterol (around 200 mg and more), they are not as dangerous as we often think. Only some of that cholesterol will stay in your bloodstream. Besides, your body can deal with a rise in cholesterol intake by inhibiting its own cholesterol production. The bottom line is, as long as you don’t overindulge in eggs, a couple of them every week isn’t a cause for concern.
To our surprise, diseases linked to high cholesterol such as atherosclerosis can be found in children. Children with risk factors for high cholesterol, such as being excessively overweight, having hypertension, or having a family history of heart disease, should have cholesterol tests at the age of two. Those who are diagnosed with high cholesterol should have a special diet that contains very little saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. It’s also recommended that they take fiber supplements and exercise regularly.
Diet and exercise are always among the top recommendations for people with high cholesterol because many cases are the result of poor lifestyle choices. However, those who live a healthy lifestyle can still have high cholesterol because this condition can be genetically predetermined. If high cholesterol runs in your family, there are chances that you will develop it sooner or later. Scientists believe this may have something to do with the way the body metabolizes cholesterol. There is nothing you can do about it, unfortunately. The best thing you can do is to stick to your healthy lifestyle and take medications (statin, e.g.) to lower your cholesterol levels.
The cholesterol measurement you see on the nutritional label refers to dietary cholesterol, which is only one of the things found in food that can raise your cholesterol level. It’s also believed to be the least important factor. What you should be afraid of is saturated fat (found in animal foods and dairy products) and trans fats (found in packaged foods). They have a greater impact on low-density lipoprotein (LDL), commonly known as the bad cholesterol in comparison with dietary cholesterol.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.