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Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead


You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (borderlining obsession) about cholesterol, right?

Before we jump into some myths let’s make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

Myth #1: β€œCholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it’s floating through your blood is what’s more important than just how much of it there is overall.Β  In fact depending on what it’s combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart.Β  Yes, opposite!

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.Β  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called β€œlipoproteins”. Β 

They’re grouped into two main categories:Β 

HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA β€œgood” cholesterol) that β€œcleans up” some of those infamous β€œarterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA β€œbad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their β€œbadness”).

And yes, it’s even more complicated than this.Β  Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

So β€œcholesterol” isn’t simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it’s bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad