Most of us know that high blood cholesterol can lead to the development of serious health concerns, such as heart disease. But because of changing scientific advancements over the past few decades, many are still confused over certain topics concerning cholesterol. Were you aware of the following facts?
All cholesterol is not bad. Cholesterol has earned a bad name, thanks to dire news reports, but some cholesterol is necessary in the diet. It regulates hormones, maintains cell membranes, promotes healthy digestion, and aids in the production of vitamin D. It even helps your brain to form and protect memories. As with many dietary topics, balance is key. You don’t want too much cholesterol, but too little isn’t ideal either.
Butter and eggs are bad. This myth is based on outdated information. Now we know that the saturated fat in butter can actually be good for you – but in moderation, please! Eggs are a source of other vital nutrients, like lutein and zeaxanthin, so there’s no need to cut those out of your diet, either. Just make sure you also incorporate fats from other sources, like olive oil and eggs.
It’s not all about fat. Recent research actually indicates that watching your intake of simple carbohydrates, like white flour and sugar, can actually help to lower your blood cholesterol levels.
If you have high cholesterol levels, medication may be the best way to fix it. For some people with conditions such as heart disease, a class of drugs called statins can be absolutely necessary and life-saving. But for others, who have high cholesterol but don’t yet have heart disease or another serious condition, prescription medication might not be necessary. If you’d like to avoid drug use and potential side effects, consult with your doctor about lifestyle changes that can lower your cholesterol levels. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and quitting smoking can actually improve your health more effectively than prescriptions!
If you haven’t had your cholesterol levels checked lately, or have questions about cholesterol, make sure to mention these topics at your next check-up. Your physician can clear up any misconceptions and help you learn about the best ways to protect your heart.