Cholesterol: in moderation*
There is no nutritional substance questioned as much as cholesterol, paired with so many misperceptions about whether it’s bad or good. Cholesterol is actually needed for our health; our body makes cholesterol from the breakdown of sugars, fats and proteins. If we are stressed (which a vast majority of the population is), the more cholesterol our body makes – because cholesterol is a precursor for stress hormones. Combining high stress, with a poor diet is a sure-fire way to increase your cholesterol, leaving you at risk of heart disease. The truth is that 99.9% of people can control their cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health through nutritional means alone.
Why we need Cholesterol;
- Our body makes steroid hormones from cholesterol such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.
- Adrenal corticosteroid hormones such as aldosterone are also made from cholesterol, which regulates water balance through our kidneys. It also makes cortisone, which promotes the production of glucose to prepare our body for ‘fight or flight’ in response to stress, cortisone is also needed to reduce inflammation.
- Vitamin D is also made from cholesterol which is needed to help regulate calcium and phosphorus.
- Bile acids are derived from cholesterol, which aid digestion and absorption of fats, oils and fat-soluble vitamins from foods.
- Cholesterol is also secreted by our glands in our skin to cover and protect against dehydration, cracking, and the elements. Cholesterol also heals skin tissue and protects against infections.
- Cholesterol is needed for brain function. Cholesterol plays a critical role in the formation of your brain’s neuronal connections.
- It is necessary to produce a substance called CoQ 10, which must be present to convert dietary fats and sugars into an energy source the body can use.
- Cholesterol is found in plasma membranes where its location and concentration affects membrane fluidity. Meaning, it is needed to ensure optimal membrane function.
The point to keep in mind is that, we need cholesterol in our bodies at all times, and a level which is too low can be dangerous. Therefore, people who are looking to reduce their cholesterol by drastically reducing or eliminating cholesterol rich foods such as beef and eggs are putting themselves at risk of further dis-ease.
Need assistance with managing your diet and reducing your cholesterol? Come visit Core and have an in depth consult with our in-house Nutritionist to help support you on your way to better health today.