Some Popular Cholesterol Myths Decoded
21-11-2015 | Posted By: Admin | 891 View(s)
The very fact that a lot of information is available online these days, a lot of people decide to do their research on the Internet. Chances are, and there is every possibility that they may get information that is incorrect. When it comes to someone’s health, this sort of inaccurate information becomes all the more harmful. Fewer than half of all adults know what their recommended cholesterol levels are. Have you had your cholesterol myths decoded off lately? Here we discuss some Cholesterol myths.
Cholesterol, a lipid produced by the liver, is vital for many body processes, such as insulating nerve cells in the brain and providing structure for cells. It is also a precursor for the biosynthesis of vitamin D and steroid hormones cortisol, testosterone and oestrogen.
Cholesterol has a bad reputation because its high levels are considered to be the cause for a host of illnesses, including heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes. But recent research says it’s not cholesterol that we need to worry about. According to a 2009 study published in the International Journal Of Clinical Practice, “The earlier purported adverse relationship between dietary cholesterol and heart disease risk was likely largely over-exaggerated.” A 2010 study published in the journal Current Atherosclerosis Reports found that increasing levels of dietary cholesterol are not correlated to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are some Popular Cholesterol Myths Decoded
Myth-1: High cholesterol levels cause Heart Attacks.
Fact: Ok, this one is almost correct, but there’s an important technicality. Let’s go back to the three carriers of cholesterol: LDL, HDL and triglycerides. People tend to think of HDL as “good” cholesterol – the more you have of it, the lower your chances of a heart attack. So it’s not the total cholesterol level that we watch out for – it’s the LDL and triglycerides that must be kept quiet.
Myth-2: Cholesterol levels are good predictors of Heart Attack Risk
Fact: It takes a lot more to determine your risk of suffering from a cardiovascular disease than just your cholesterol levels. “Do you smoke? Are you active every day? Do you eat well? All of it matters.” say cardiologists “The key is your overall holistic health and not just a single number on a piece of paper.”
Myth-3: Lifestyle choices don’t matter if you’re on cholesterol Medication
Fact: Even if your doctor prescribed statins – a medication designed to lower your cholesterol levels – maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes a heart-healthy diet and exercise, is still key to reducing your risk of heart disease.
Myth-4: Cholesterol is Pure Evil
Fact: Your body produces cholesterol and essential to good health! It produces important hormones like estrogen and testosterone, synthesises vitamin D, and maintains your cell health, among other things.
Myth- 5: It ‘s hard to control Cholesterol
Fact: Its just another Cholesterol Myths-If adequate attention is paid to controlling the cholesterol levels, it can be easily taken care of. All that a person has to do is follow the instructions of the doctor and lead a healthy life to ensure that no further damage is caused.
Myth-6: Only Medication works
Fact: Another misconception about cholesterol is that only medication comes in handy to bring it under control. However, if it is detected at an early stage, a healthy lifestyle can very quickly bring things under control. The most efficient ways to bring cholesterol under control would be to use an effective exercise regime coupled with proper diet.
Myth-7: Doctors are Scary
Fact: A lot of people find it difficult to come to terms with the fact that they have a cholesterol problem. They think that a doctor will be scaring them even if their ailment is not that serious. However, going to a medical practitioner will help gain a proper perspective of the problem at hand. It is only after this that proper remedial measures can be taken or should be taken.
Myth-8: Tests are Conclusive
Fact: Medical examinations at all times –Do not give a correct picture. It may so happen that the scenario during the conducting of the test may not be the same as an actual condition.
Myth-9: You get Cholesterol from Fatty Foods
Fact: As we may have spoiled in the previous answer, most cholesterol doesn’t come from food – it is produced by your body. However, when you eat fatty foods (or smoke, or don’t exercise, for that matter), you throw off your body’s balance between the carriers of cholesterol: LDL, HDL and triglycerides. That is what can lead to the real danger – plaque buildup in your arteries.
Myth-10: A Low-Fat diet helps lower Cholesterol Levels
Fact: The types of fat in the diet affect blood cholesterol levels. A review of research on dietary carbohydrates and fats published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 showed that cutting back on fats, or a low-fat diet, has no health benefits. In a low-fat diet, you lose out on the fats that are good for the heart, and it is often compensated by switching to refined carbohydrates, which results in increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“All fats are important in the body for certain functions. But saturated fats, such as red meat, whole milk products, ghee and coconut oil, can increase LDL and should be consumed in small quantities.” “Trans fats, found in hydrogenated vegetable oil, are the worst type of fat, as they are useless for the body, increase LDL and triglycerides, and decrease HDL. Many packaged foods, such as potato chips and bakery products, which use refined grains like maida (all-purpose flour), are low in fibre and contain trans fats. Reusing cooking oil also increases trans fat levels.”
To move ahead of these popular Cholesterol Myths and the manner in which they can be harmful, it is good to make sure that a person can see the fine line. A little bit of research in this regard is going to be handy in getting a better understanding of the subject and clearing a lot of misconceptions about Cholesterol myths which are not true.
Here are some Handy Tips to Manage Your Cholesterol
1. Eat whole grains, unprocessed food, fruits and vegetables daily
2. Exercise daily for 30 minutes
3. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats; consume more lean meats
4. Stick to the recommended daily allowance of 40-50g of total fat for adults
5.Include nuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds and fatty fish in the diet to increase HDL
6.Replace high-fat dairy products with low-fat milk products