cholesterol: what is it, why you need not fear eggs and quality saturated fat, and what you can do about elevated ldl (part 1)
For around 40 or so years, we’ve been told that if we eat cholesterol-containing foods like eggs and saturated fats (butter, cream, meats, coconut oil, cream and milk), we’ll raise our cholesterol and our risk of cardiovascular diseases, like heart attack, stroke and arterial plaques.
Recently, I’ve had many people asking me how many eggs they can safely eat per week, because their doctors have told them they have high cholesterol and therefore need to avoid eggs. And I’ve had several people express surprise that I recommend adding a raw free-range egg and coconut cream to a morning smoothie, to make it more nourishing and satiating.
So, in a series of two articles, I’m going to help you learn more about cholesterol – what it is, what a high LDL cholesterol blood test result really means, and why you don’t need to fear saturated fats or eggs (truly).
Key facts to know about cholesterol
It’s important to understand that cholesterol is in fact needed for your mental and physical health. Some of the many functions of cholesterol in your body include:
Given the important role of cholesterol in the health of your nerves and brain – which play a huge role in your mental health – it’s interesting to note that low HDL blood cholesterol has been linked to depression, major depressive disorder and a history of suicide ideation and suicide attempts.
Additionally, saturated fat, which we’ve been taught to fear in relation to our heart health, is also necessary for the healthy structure of cell membranes. It also makes up a significant component of breast milk and is needed to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins D, E, K and A.
So if our livers are making cholesterol daily and using it for structural and functional purposes to keep our bodies healthy, and saturated fat is needed for structural and functional purposes AND makes up part of human breast milk…..can cholesterol-containing foods like eggs and saturated fats really be so bad for us?
I'll be posting part 2 of this article in a few days time. I welcome your comments.