Let’s talk about cholesterol.

 

Normal values:

  • Total cholesterol: < 5.2 mmol/L
  • LDL cholesterol: < 3.4 mmol/L
  • HDL cholesterol: >1.04 mmol/L for men, > 1.3 mmol/L  for women
  • Triglycerides: < 1.7 mmol/L

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is essential for the life.

Functions in body and why it is important to have cholesterol:

  • Hormone synthesis: Estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and other hormones, such as vitamin D3 are all made out of cholesterol.
  • Cell integrity: As the most important ingredient of  every cell membrane in the body, cholesterol is required for maintaining cell structure and fluidity.
  • Bile acids: The liver converts cholesterol into bile acids, which help with absorption of fats and the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
  • Myelin formation: The myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve cells contains plenty of cholesterol. No wonder that anti-cholesterol drugs impairs cognitive function.

Your body makes most of the cholesterol that is found in your bloodstream. It’s primarily produced in the liver.

Dietary cholesterol – found in animal foods like eggs, shellfish, cheese and organ meat – makes up a smaller portion of your blood cholesterol pool.

Most fatty meats and whole-milk dairy products contain just a little cholesterol, whereas some shellfish and organ meats are high in cholesterol, yet low in fat.

After years of advice to eliminate egg yolks and eat only the whites, we’ve learned that eating cholesterol-rich foods doesn’t really impact blood cholesterol levels very much at all. In fact, when most people take in more cholesterol from food, their liver produces less, resulting in stable blood cholesterol.

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