LIE #2: EATING CHOLESTEROL RAISES YOUR CHOLESTEROL
How many of us have opted for egg whites at breakfast because we’re told that the dreaded “C” word is in the yokes? It’s been ingrained in our brains that eating cholesterol raises cholesterol. On top of that, we’ve been warned that consuming too much cholesterol-rich food leads to heart disease and other significant health problems. This mainstream myth has resulted in healthy foods such as whole eggs, shellfish and saturated fats (like animal fats and coconut oil) being villainized and taken off the table. However, when these advantageous foods are tossed out, we don’t get to reap the health benefits they provide.
FACT: Our bodies actually make cholesterol because we need it — a whopping 75% is produced by our livers. Very little cholesterol found in our bodies is from the eggs, meat, or shellfish we consume. In fact, even if you never touched any of these foods, you could still have high cholesterol simply because that’s just the way your body is. Countless studies have shown that dietary cholesterol does not significantly affect blood cholesterol levels or raise the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
Cholesterol gets such a bad rap, that many people have never heard how important it is. It’s a compound that is vital in helping our bodies produce hormones (such as estrogen, testosterone, and cortisone), cell membranes, vitamin D, and bile acids that aid in digesting fat. It also plays an important role in our neurological functions and helps us to form memories.
Benefits of cholesterol:
- Builds cell membranes
- Produces and balances hormones (including the ones that manage stress levels!)
- Helps our metabolisms work efficiently
- Increases brain function and development
- Levels moods by stabilizing neurotransmitters
- Produces vitamin D
- Produces bile acids that help digest fast and absorb nutrients
- Maintains intestinal wall
- Critical to repair damaged cells
So why have we been taught that cholesterol is bad and we should avoid eating it at all costs? Well, it’s based on old science (from half a century ago) and a desperate desire to stop cardiovascular disease. Although I applaud the desire, it’s time to look at the real culprit: inflammation. Yes, cholesterol builds up in the arteries and can cause blockages but the build up is due to inflammation.
If there is construction on the highway and the road narrows, eventually there will be a slow down of cars, yes? And maybe even a collision or two due to all the congestion. Cholesterol is like the cars on the road, minding their own business. It’s the construction that causes the pile up, not the cars.
Did you know that most heart attacks actually occur in people with low cholesterol? Not only is cholesterol a natural and vital substance in our bodies, but it’s necessary to keep our bodies healthy. Lowering one’s cholesterol too much can be even more dangerous than having high cholesterol. So stop eating foods that cause inflammation and get back to eating those egg yolks for breakfast!
If you are concerned about your cholesterol levels, do your homework. I highly recommend Jimmy Moore’s book: Cholesterol Clarity where he interviews several doctors and experts in the field.
What cholesterol-rich foods have you been told to stay away from? Any other Big Fat Lies you want exposed? Share in the comments below!