Cholesterol: what is it, why you need not fear eggs and quality saturated fat, and what you can do about elevated ldl (part 2)
In part one of this series, we’ve looked at cholesterol being a natural substance produced in the human body every day, and one vital for health. Now, let’s talk about LDL cholesterol: how it can become elevated in your blood and what you can do about it. We’ll also look at the difference between LDL (so-called bad cholesterol) and HDL (so-called good cholesterol).
Given cholesterol is indeed a health-supporting substance in the human body, a key reason LDL cholesterol can become elevated in your blood is because your liver is producing more of it to do its job – repair and support.
When inflammation (the body’s response to tissue injury) and free radical damage (unstable atoms causing cellular damage that leads to disease) take hold in the human body, LDL cholesterol is sent to all our body’s tissues to help keep our cells and organs healthy.
So.…what causes inflammation and free radical damage?
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).
Cara (not her real name) was 33. She ate a variety of whole foods, was active and seldom drank alcohol. She had a history of anxiety and depression and very stressful life events, including childhood trauma and abusive relationships.
When I saw Cara for her first appointment, she was in many ways in a very good place in her life. She had in the past year come out of an abusive relationship and knew she would never be in one again. She had begun seeing “a really good therapist” who was helping her unpack her childhood traumas. And she had a small group of true friends she could rely on.
Cara also had a good set of tools she had learned over the years for looking after her mental health. She enjoyed running her small business, though it could be stressful at times. She was “mostly happy being single” and was active in outdoor groups to grow her social circle.
The tools we looked at in part one focused more on supporting your physical health. Let's now look at tools for supporting your emotional health.
Acknowledging your stress and trauma
Stress can be a big contributor to depression, and stress can be caused by many things.