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Common Myths about Cholesterol

There is much information out there about what you shouldn’t consume in your diet, what you should be eating more of, what you should and should not do for a healthier lifestyle… It can be incredibly confusing and overwhelming to the layperson who just wants to get the simple facts so that he or she may apply it to their life. Often in desperation to live a better life, people might try new ideas that are not necessarily correct for them, but keep coming up in the media or that they might hear via friends or colleagues. It is essential to differentiate the facts from the myths, so that people have better guidance when making important decisions for a healthy lifestyle. This article focuses on the common myths about cholesterol.

Cholesterol, as you might already know, is a waxy substance carried by fat molecules found in the body, and is responsible for the production of many essential hormones the body requires for proper functioning. Unfortunately, in higher than desirable amounts, cholesterol is thought to contribute to heart disease, and thus levels of this compound must be controlled in the body. The following is a list of common myths about cholesterol:

Myth: It is okay to have high cholesterol, if there is nothing else wrong with your health.

As mentioned, cholesterol is a waxy substance, and tends to build up in the arteries of the body. Even if you are fortunate enough to have an otherwise clean bill of health, high cholesterol could result in dangerous arterial blockages and eventually a heart attack.

Myth: Cholesterol is only caused by a bad diet and poor exercise habits.

Cholesterol is produced by the body, and if the body is unable to eliminate it effectively, high cholesterol may result irrespective of one’s diet or exercise habits. In this case, cholesterol medications are essential to help the individual live a healthy life.

Myth: Cholesterol does not affect women.

Estrogen in women’s bodies helps keep cholesterol levels normal for much of their lives, but estrogen production drops after menopause, and then cholesterol can suddenly become problematic. It is important to have a healthy lifestyle throughout one’s life to prevent this kind of problem.

Myth: Cholesterol only affects you after you reach the age of 40.

While cholesterol increases with age, it can still affect anyone at any age, since it can result from both dietary sources and production in the body. It is thus important to ensure a healthy diet and proper exercise for your kids from the time they are young.

Myth: Eggs are forbidden!

You have probably heard more than once that eggs are high in cholesterol, and it is true, but the truth is that not all the cholesterol in eggs is absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, if you take in a high amount of cholesterol via your diet, then the body produces less cholesterol to compensate for that increased amount.

Myth: All cholesterol is bad.

There are two main types of cholesterol – those carried by low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) and those carried by high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) in the blood. LDLs are the fats responsible for heart attacks while the actual cholesterol is essential for many bodily processes such as insulating nerve cells for proper conduction of electrical impulses.