cholesterol increaserCholesterol has become a bit of bogeyman recently. The media has done a good job of publishing some of the very real risks of this and fat generally but has it perhaps gone over the top? Is cholesterol something to fear and avoid at all costs or has the information and misinformation been a little overkill? Lets examine a little of the cholesterol advice to try and separate out the facts from the fiction which has been spreading about this possibly much maligned subject.

One of the first casualties of misinterpreted cholesterol info is usually the fat goes into anyone’s diet. All the anxious conversation that surrounds how cholesterol is harmful gets people thinking that the one safe way to stay clear of this silent killer would be to stay away from fat in the diet altogether. Of course, no one is actually able to really cut all the fat out of their diet even if they let the hype sway them into thinking that. All that the hype ever does is to mislead them into thinking that cholesterol control is impossibly difficult. The truth is, that no doctor ever asked anyone to stay clear of fat. In fact, you need to get a full third of your calories from the fat in your diet. Your body needs fat to function properly. You need to be sure that you understand that staying away from fat was never a real medical thing. It was always a pop health thing.

A myth that goes along with the one above in the erroneous understanding that all fat is dangerous, is the belief that all fat is the same. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fats come in all kinds of forms – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the kind found in peanuts, olive oil and avocados for instance, are actually good for you in the way they lower bad cholesterol. Trans fats and saturated fats, the kind that you find in butter, red meat, bacon, french fries and all kinds of processed foods, can really hurt you.

So what should you do? Should you check out the cholesterol info and the fat info on the packaging before you buy anything? That would be good idea; as long as you realize that you can’t believe everything they say on the package. When they say 0% trans fats, they don’t really mean 0%. They mean “very small amounts that can still be harmful”. And when they advertise something as being “low-fat”, that’s only a half-truth. The manufacturers go and put in other stuff to build taste up that was lost to the fat. You still get as many calories.

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