Cholesterol is not inherently a bad substance. In fact, it is a base component of bile, sex hormones, and is found in the brain, nerves, liver and blood where it performs tasks for us. One example is patching up lesions in our blood vessels.
Cholesterol levels become a problem when imbalance occurs. For example, when there is an excess production of cholesterol by the liver, high calcium levels in the blood, high homocysteine levels etc.
Understanding Lab Test Results
Blood tests are the most accurate indicators of the levels of lipids, including cholesterol that our bodies are manufacturing. Lipoproteins are cholesterol protein substances.
LDL (Low Density Lipoproteins), are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
HDL (High Density Lipoproteins), are preferred as they indicate a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke.
To calculate health risks we look at the ratio of cholesterol/HDL.
Average risk for a man is 5.0
Average risk for a women is 4.4
A lower risk ratio means lower risk of heart and artery disease.
Whole Foods – Eat a whole foods diet. Base each meal around a plant protein. Eat fiber rich foods such as beans, peas and lentils. Increase nutrient-rich fresh vegetables and fruits.
Fish – Eat fish 2-3 times per week, plus a fish oil supplement daily. Avoid the large fish such as shark, swordfish and yellowfin tuna as they may contain mercury. Buy only wild fish such as Alaskan salmon as farmed fish does not have high levels of the desirable EFAs.
Whole Grains – Steel cut oats, brown rice etc.
Avoid – Sugar, flour, pasta, bread, cookies etc.
Eggs are Not the Issue
It was once believed that dietary cholesterol was a large factor in high blood cholesterol levels. But we now know that the cholesterol containing foods we eat effect our blood levels for only a short period of time and is really a very small factor in the picture.
- Saturated fats in the diet
- High sugar diet
- High carb diet
- Vitamin C deficiency
- Vitamin E deficiency
- B-6 Deficiency
- Chromium deficiency
- Magnesium deficiency
- Copper deficiency
- Essential fatty acid deficiency (EFAs)
- Fiber deficiency
- Caffeine excess
- Hydrogenated oils (margarine, partially hydrogenated oils etc.)
- Lack of exercise
- Sluggish liver
- High stress levels (which equate to low levels of DHEA)
- Steroid Drugs
- Cigarette Smoking