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Nutrition
HOW TO DEAL WITH CHOLESTEROL IN A SMART WAY

Surprise! It’s not considered as fat

03 Feb 2019
Will eating high-cholesterol foods raise your body’s cholesterol levels? No, the cholesterol in our bodies is mostly created by the liver. There is no direct correlation between eating cholesterol and high blood-cholesterol levels. Recent research shows that most people who eat foods with cholesterol do not experience elevated blood-cholesterol levels.

This is because our bodies are self-regulating, absorbing more or less from what we eat, as needed. So, the liver raises or lowers its production of cholesterol to ensure the body gets the amount of cholesterol it needs to function optimally.

That said, there are also studies that suggest that a minority of the population (between 15% and 25%) could respond to dietary cholesterol in a ‘hyper’ way, and are advised to eat less of it.

How does cholesterol help your body function optimally? It forms part of the membrane of all the cells in your body, which plays a big role in cell motility (movement) and their effective absorption of nutrients.

Cholesterol is also needed by your body to produce vitamin D, hormones (including sex hormones) and bile (which helps the body excrete excess fat). Your brain also comprises largely of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is actually not a dietary fat but has become equated with it, thanks to media misrepresentation. Fats and cholesterol are both lipids, a group which includes fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), waxes and sterols (such as cholesterol).

So, the best way to control your cholesterol levels is not to worry too much about it. (We won’t even get into the HDL and LDL cholesterol alphabet soup here.) We don’t know how to regulate cholesterol better than our bodies. Eat real food, in moderate amounts, and stay physically active – especially over the festive season!