Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

Hello!

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, 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: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat.  Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)?  'Cause that's where it's made! What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces.  After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn't need to make as much.

Myth #4: 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 #5: 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.

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

Summary: 

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.

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper

Blend all ingredients together until creamy. Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

Tip: Store extra in 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/

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Amazing Uses and Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

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Research indicates, animal fats have long chain saturated fat, while coconut oil contains healthy, healing, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). This saturated fat is considered a rare and important building block of every cell in the human body, and can actually reduce cholesterol and heart disease.

This incredible food boosts immunity, kills bacteria and viruses, protects against cancer and other degenerative diseases, and prevents osteoporosis by promoting calcium absorption. It also slows down aging and is good for skin radiance.

Weight Loss from Coconut Oil/Butter


American farmers attempted to plump up their cattle by feeding them coconut oil. Instead of gaining weight, their cows lost weight!

This is because:

1. The long-chain fats nearly always go to fat storage, while the MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids) are burned for energy... which is why you feel great after eating this coconut super food.

2. Coconut oil helps to stimulate the metabolism, so you burn more calories each day, which helps with weight loss and energy levels.

Coconut Oil/Butter is Packed with Lauric Acid

Coconut oil, like human breast milk, is rich in lauric acid, which boosts immunity and destroys harmful bacteria and viruses. In fact, coconut oil is one of the closest foods on the planet to breast milk.

Scientists in the Philippines researched the effects of coconut oil and lauric acid on patients with the HIV virus that causes Aids. The results were amazing. Most of the Aids patients showed a dramatic drop in the HIV virus count, in some cases to "undetectable" levels. While there needs to be a lot more research, there is certainly evidence to suggest that people with this virus would benefit from having a diet rich in coconut.

Lipid researcher Dr. Jon Kabara says "Never before in the history of man is it so important to emphasize the value of Lauric Oils."

Coconut Oil/Butter Kills Candida (Yeast Infections)

Coconut oil has been shown to kill the Candida Albicans yeast, which is caused by antibiotics, birth control pills, and modern living. It has caused a whole generation to be tired, foggy headed, unable to optimally digest food, and suffer from a range of other illnesses.

Yet many sufferers have claimed that their health has dramatically improved when using coconut products. This could be due to the fact that coconuts are a dense source of caprylic acid, which has anti-fungal properties. It could also be due to the fact that these people replaced regular milk (which is generally toxic and bad for candida sufferers) with the milk from coconuts.

Healthy Skin

Coconut Oil/Butter has youth enhancing, glow encouraging properties for the skin. It is highly moisturizing and promotes skin elasticity.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/023563_coconut_oil.html#ixzz1OnFvd700

LOVE AND WELLNESS,

DEB