The Truth About Cholesterol – Myths and Facts You Need to Know for Your Health
Did you know that having cholesterol in your blood is not a bad thing? It’s true! While having too much bad cholesterol can lead to long-term health problems and increase your risk of various illnesses, cholesterol itself is essential for many different bodily functions. Here’s a closer look at the myths and facts about cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
- All cholesterol is bad and should be avoided. While having high levels of bad cholesterol can be dangerous, there are actually two kinds: high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). HDL is considered “good” cholesterol, as it helps remove body cholesterol, while LDL is “bad” cholesterol, as it builds up and clogs your arteries. It’s important to maintain a healthy balance of both.
- Eating a lot of fatty foods will raise your cholesterol. While it’s true that eating large amounts of saturated fat can increase your LDL levels, the main culprit is actually an excess of simple carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, and sugary snacks. Opt for complex carbohydrates instead, such as whole wheat pasta, quinoa and brown rice, to keep your cholesterol in check!
- You need to take cholesterol-lowering drugs. Unless your doctor specifically recommends them, you don’t need to be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. Instead, you can opt for natural methods such as cutting back on unhealthy fats, exercising regularly, and eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Cholesterol is an important part of human nutrition. It’s actually an essential part of being healthy, as it helps protect our cells and carry vital vitamins and minerals around the body. Your liver produces a certain amount of cholesterol to do this, but you also get cholesterol from eating foods like dairy products and eggs.
- Cholesterol levels can be managed. Lifestyle changes such as exercising, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight can help keep your cholesterol levels in check. Regular cholesterol testing is also important for determining if you need to make any changes to your lifestyle to keep your cholesterol in balance.
- High cholesterol can be inherited. While high cholesterol can be caused by diet and lifestyle, it can also be linked to genetic factors. If you’re predisposed to high cholesterol levels, it’s important to make sure you’re monitored regularly and that you take steps to lower your levels to stay healthy.
The Bottom Line
To keep yourself healthy and reduce your risk of developing long-term health problems, it’s important to know the facts about cholesterol and how it affects your body. Eating a well-rounded diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular cholesterol tests are all steps you can take to ensure your cholesterol levels stay in balance.