Cholesterol is a component of all cells and it is necessary for growth, production, and repair. Without it there would be no sex hormones, as cholesterol is the precursor to the precursors in the production line. It is a good guy with admirable intentions and even wears a white hat when it deposits on the wall of an injured artery, as it is part of the repair response to tissue damage. Because cholesterol is used as a marker in lab tests assessing heart disease risk, it is assumed guilty by this association. What is actually being measured are the lipoprotein (LDL, HDL) carriers that transport cholesterol and triglycerides.
Fortunately, healthcare is catching up a bit with the latest research and many physicians are starting to rely on more relevant diagnostics measures like LDL particle number and size, the triglyceride to HDL ratio, inflammatory markers, Hemoglobin A1c (an indicator of glycation), coronary calcium score, and even thyroid function tests. Using cholesterol levels as the standard for assessing heart disease risk is missing the mark, or I should say marker, and could result in a diagnosis of increased risk where there is none and vice versa.
Efforts to prevent vessel wall injury target heart disease at its root and is a truer aim than focusing on cholesterol reduction. Damage to the coronary arteries is promoted by high blood sugar, inflammation, and the formation of free radicals. Some physicians are not only using more appropriate markers to assess risk, but they are also recognizing how becoming a Better-Fat-Burner can decrease it. Optimizing blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity supports improved triglyceride levels, body mass index, blood pressure, C–reactive protein (marker of inflammation), HDL, and LDL particle number and size. This, along with improving the omega ratio, will create a first line of defense against arterial wall damage, LDL oxidation, and overall heart disease risk.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (former American Dietetic Association), recently revised its stance on restricting cholesterol citing a lack of evidence connecting dietary cholesterol consumption to levels of cholesterol in the blood. In other words, the yellow caution light–that has for too long been cast on cholesterol consumption–has finally turned green.
Talk of cholesterol always brings to mind eggs. About as well-rounded as a food gets, eggs can be incorporated into the diet in a variety of ways. Beyond the obvious, they can also be used to make homemade mayonnaise and ice cream. As a binder in salmon patties and meat loaf, or as a coating along with low carb and gluten free flour (almond, coconut), eggs enhance many dishes. Simply adding one to a veggie stir fry makes it a complete meal. An egg is packed with nutrients including high quality protein, healthy fat, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Free ranged eggs from a chicken fed a natural diet—bugs included–is ideal as it will be more nutrient dense and even sport a better omega profile than one from a factory farm.
Making mayo (details below) is a breeze when you use a stick blender. Add fresh herbs and a variety of spices for different flavors and use a lighter olive oil or a combination of oils–olive with some avocado, macadamia, high oleic sunflower, or even coconut oil.
The restriction of dietary cholesterol is still advised for certain genetic conditions like Familial Hypercholesterolemia (hampers normal clearance of LDL particles from the circulation).
Here are this week’s #BetterFatBurner links:
Own the Change!
Follow me socially for daily BFB inspiration and check out my eBook–it’s informative and affordable!