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Clean Eat Education: Cholesterol - What's Really Behind Those Numbers

EducationWhitney Carlson2 Comments

You hear the ads left and right - "Lower Your Cholesterol," "Part of a Heart Healthy Diet." But what does that really mean? Is everyone at risk of having high cholesterol and should I avoid certain food groups all together?  Not entirely!

There are 3 types of cholesterol in the body:

  1. LDL - This is the lower density cholesterol and is also known as "BAD" cholesterol. 
  2. HDL - This cholesterol is higher density and is the "GOOD" cholesterol.
  3. Triglycerides - This cholesterol, in a simple sense, is just your body's fat storage.  

You can remember which one you want, the HDL, by simply remembering that your goal is to make your body more lean, more dense with muscle. Therefore, the higher muscle density your body has the more toned you will look and faster your metabolism will be. Hence, you want a higher number on your HDL cholesterol.

What does Cholesterol do? Is it really that important?

The short answer - it controls A LOT and YES, it IS that important!

Cholesterol is responsible (partly or solely) for the following functions:

  1. Essential in proper adrenal function including producing cortisol, corticosteroids, aldosterone and more. This is HUGE!! You will NEVER reach your goals if your adrenals do not function properly. 
  2. Metabolism of fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E and K
  3. Conversion of sunshine to Vitamin D
  4. Aids in producing stomach bile - essential to the breakdown and metabolism of the food you eat
  5. Involved in producing sex hormones - androgens and estrogens

How do I determine my cholesterol levels?

You will need a blood test to determine your cholesterol levels. This can be ordered fairly quickly and easily by your Primary Care Physician and is covered by most insurances at the time of your yearly physical.

Do you have high LDL and/or triglycerides?

We will talk soon about natural ways to lower your cholesterol.