Cholesterol is still controversial with the mainstream public and health care system. Soon this will not be an issue and a healthy understanding about cholesterol will be reached.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help you digest fat.
ALL of your steroid hormones are synthesized from cholesterol, including all of the sex and adrenal hormones, which these can easily become out of balance when most people are under severe stress.
So how did cholesterol get such a bad wrap? Do we need to take in extra cholesterol?
I recently watched the movie “Fat Head“.
My take away regarding quality and healthy fats was that we need these to “detox toxins from fat with fat”.
Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function. Your liver makes about three-quarters or more of your body’s cholesterol.
They breakdown of cholesterol is:
- HDL (High-density lipoprotein): This is the “good” cholesterol that helps keep cholesterol away from your arteries and remove any excess from arterial plaque, which may help to prevent heart disease.
- LDL (Low-density lipoprotein): This “bad” cholesterol circulates in your blood and may build up in your arteries, forming plaque that makes your arteries narrow and less flexible. If a clot forms in one of these narrowed arteries leading to your heart or brain, a heart attack or stroke may result.
- Triglycerides: Elevated levels of this dangerous fat have been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Triglyceride levels are known to rise from eating too many sugars, being physically inactive, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol excessively, and being overweight or obese.
Consider looking at your ratios vs. stressing over your total cholesterol can be a better comprehensive tool.
In adults, the HDL-“good” cholesterol/total cholesterol ratio should be higher than 0.24 (just divide your HDL level by your cholesterol).
Or more precisely, the HDL/total cholesterol ratio:
- 0.24 or higher – considered ideal
- under 0.24 – low
- less than 0.10 – very dangerous.
Generally speaking, the higher the ratio, the lower risk you are for heart disease.
Also, take a look at your Triglyceride/HDL ratio:
- 2 or less -considered ideal
- 4 – high
- 6 – much too high
And, since HDL (high density lipoprotein) is protective against heart disease, the lower the ratio, the better.
A Harvard-lead study author reported:
“High triglycerides alone increased the risk of heart attack nearly three-fold.
And people with the highest ratio of triglycerides to HDL — the “good” cholesterol — had 16 times the risk of heart attack as those with the lowest ratio of triglycerides to HDL in the study of 340 heart attack patients and 340 of their healthy, same age counterparts.
The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was the strongest predictor of a heart attack, even more accurate than the LDL/HDL ratio (Circulation 1997;96:2520-2525).”
This is where we need to put our focus on vs. just adding medications to lower cholesterol.
Food sources that support your HDL and lower triglycerides:
- High Fiber food: Split peas, lentils, avocado, artichokes, flax seeds (freshly ground), Brussels Sprouts, berries, broccoli
- High Omega 3 foods: Salmon (Wild Caught), Sardines, Mackerel, chia seeds, walunts
- Herbs: Tumeric, Rosemary, Basil and Oregano.
- Allium Family: Garlic, leeks, onions, shallots, chives
Check out our recipe book for a variety of recipes with these ingredients to support your healthy lifestyle.
Cheers to your healthy cholesterol,
Thanks brianna.lehman for the photo.