If you have detected with high cholesterol level, you must be scared of getting heart disease. You must be confused – what are the cholesterol-reducing foods, what can be your zero-cholesterol diet, can I eat egg, is millet good for reducing cholesterol, etc.
We often portray cholesterol as a villain. But you may be surprised to know that cholesterol is one of the most essential building blocks of our body.
Cholesterol is a waxy material that is present in every single cell membrane. We need it every day for multiple physiological functions like making hormones, vitamin D, etc.
You may have associated high cholesterol with all possible heart disease. In reality, it’s not cholesterol but the lipoprotein which plays the role. Lipoprotein is the structure made with protein and lipid (fat) which carry cholesterol from one part to another part of the body.
When you check your lipid profile you get to see the parameters like – LDL (Low-density lipoprotein), HDL (high-density lipoprotein, VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), triglyceride, etc.
LDL comprises 60-70% of the total lipoprotein in the body. VLDL and LDL are considered as “bad cholesterol” as it has been linked to clogging of arteries and heart disease. LDL carries cholesterol throughout the body. (1)
There are small and large LDL particles in our blood. Study shows that people having more small dense LDL particles are at the bigger risk of developing heart disease compared to those with larger LDL particles. In fact, People having larger LDL, are at lower risk of heart disease. (2)
However, a recent study shows, it’s more of the number of LDL particles than the size which makes the difference. It’s measured as LDL particle number or LDL-P. Higher the number means greater the risk of having heart disease.
As you are already aware that HDL is the “good cholesterol” as they pick cholesterol particles from the body and takes it to the liver. (3)
Triglyceride is a type of fat.
After eating, the food gets digested, metabolized, and releases energy which makes us staying active the whole day. But if you don’t utilize the calorie which has been produced after your meal, it gets converted to triglyceride and stored in your fat cells for later use.
High triglyceride level in blood is linked to heart disease. So having too much of it is not good for you.
Having a high cholesterol diet does not always mean you will have high blood cholesterol. Surprised? Yes, it may look like that but the reality is different. Your body strictly regulates blood cholesterol levels by controlling cholesterol production.
When you consume high cholesterol diet, your body reduces cholesterol production. Similarly, if you are taking a low cholesterol diet, the body will increase cholesterol production. For 60% of the population dietary cholesterol does play not much role in regulating blood cholesterol.(4) (5) (6)
However, there are about 40% of people for whom high cholesterol diet increases the blood cholesterol level for some genetic reason. Please note, it has been the seed that high cholesterol diet generally increases the large LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol but not the small LDL – the actual bad cholesterol. (7) (8)
It has been seen that only dietary cholesterol has hardly any link with developing heart disease. However, it makes a negative impact when combined with inflammation, smoking, high blood pressure, oxidative stress etc.
In reality, you need a healthy, balanced diet with variety of foods to ensure supplying all the nutrients. Looking for a sustainable customized diet program considering your health condition, work schedule, and food choices?
She has been providing diet and nutrition consultation for years. She is highly qualified and has a passion for health and fitness. She has a team of professionals who are experts in their respective fields. They will help you achieve your goals and improve your overall health.
A dedicated and passionate team of professionals is available to provide you with comprehensive consultation and customized diet plans based on your needs. You will learn how to eat right, exercise effectively and lead a healthy lifestyle that will benefit you in the long run.
Soma Chakrabarthy is an expert Dietitian based in Hyderabad. She is a trained and certified nutritionist. She has done Ph.D. in food and nutrition from Calcutta University.
She has been in the industry for over a decade and has helped many people with their weight loss goals. Her expertise lies in helping patients lose weight and gain lean muscle mass through nutrition counseling and workouts.
It is evident that shortcuts and fad diets never work in the long term. She believes in a doable and sustainable diet. They work online and globally from Hyderabad.