Cholesterol is a topic that we all are familiar with. However, there is more to it than we all know. In this post we will look at some of the most common cholesterol myths, who has more chances of having high cholesterol, what all food items cause high cholesterol and why and also why cholesterol may not be that bad after all.
Myth No. 1: Americans are known to have the highest cholesterol levels in the entire world
Fact: Every human being who does not pay attention to diet or exercise is at risk of developing high cholesterol levels.
The world’s biggest abiding stereotypes are the obese Americans with cholesterol choked arteries who are extremely prone to heart attacks. High on fast food, the Americans definitely need to lose their bulk. However, when it comes to high cholesterol levels, America is not leading the race.
As per the statistics collected by World Health Organisation in 2005, the men in America stood at eighty third position whereas the women in America stood at eighty first position. In men as well as women in America the average cholesterol count is 197 mg/dL which is below the High Risk cholesterol level. This is still acceptable as compared to the cholesterol levels found in men and women of several other countries. In Colombia the average cholesterol levels amongst men is an alarming 244 mg/dL. Whereas the average cholesterol levels amongst the women of Israel, Norway, Libya as well as Uruguay come to about 232md/dL.
Myth No. 2: Eggs are bad
Fact: Eggs taken in moderation do not cause cholesterol levels to shoot up
It is rightly known that eggs have high levels of dietary cholesterol with more than 200 mg. The American Heart Association has limited the everyday cholesterol consumption to 300 mg only. However, the dietary cholesterol found in eggs is not that bad as we all once thought. Of all the dietary cholesterol consumed only a part of it is absorbed in the bloodstream. By any chance if your dietary cholesterol is high then the human body makes up for it by producing less amount of cholesterol.
You must however still keep your egg intake limited to an egg or two five times in a week. Eggs are a great source of dietary protein and they also have unsaturated fat, so why deprive the body from the goodness of eggs.
Myth No. 3: Children cannot have high cholesterol levels
Fact: Children can be diagnosed with high cholesterol levels
Many people think that high cholesterol can only be a problem faced by middle aged people. A research shows that children as small as eight years old can also have high cholesterol levels. Children who are obese, have a family history of heart ailments, suffer from high blood pressure must also have their cholesterol tested.
Kids who have high cholesterol should be on a restricted diet with only 200 mg of dietary cholesterol everyday and very less saturated fats. More roughage and physical workout is recommended.
Myth No. 4: Food that reads “0 mg cholesterol” is good for heart
Fact: Look for transfats and saturated fats on labels as they have a stronger impact on LDL
The label that says 0 mg cholesterol or cholesterol free refers to the amount of dietary cholesterol. Saturated fats as well as trans fats have a much stronger impact on LDL which is the bad cholesterol that results in coronary artery disease.
Myth No. 5: Cholesterol is a bad thing
Fact: Cholesterol is crucial for many body functions - You just have to maintain the right levels.
The general perception is that cholesterol is unhealthy. High cholesterol level is bad for health. However, cholesterol is required for several bodily functions such as providing insulation to nerve cells present in the brain as well as cell membrane’s structure.