Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in almost every cell in your body. Therefore, although it’s frequently been promoted as a bad thing, it requires a much deeper understanding. Cholesterol is needed by all of us to:
- make hormones
- make Vitamin D
- digest food
- protect your nerves, and
- produce cell membranes
The more important thing to understand is the two types of cholesterol HDL (good cholesterol) and LDL (bad cholesterol).
So what is good and bad cholesterol?
LDL is comprised of small particles which can squeeze between the cells in your arterial wall and become stuck between these gaps. This causes plaque to build up and narrowing of the vessels putting you at risk of:
It’s been shown that eating saturated fats (‘good fats’ like nuts, avocado, coconut oil basically naturally occurring unprocessed fats) can help increase the number of large particles ‘HDL’.
Interestingly, cholesterol levels are not higher in fatty meats or lower in lean meats. Fat cells contain as much cholesterol as other cells in the meat. Like human body cells all mammal cells contain cholesterol. All meat averages about 25 milligrams of cholesterol per 1 ounce, including beef and poultry. Dietary absorption rates vary from person to person ranging from 20-60% in individuals so quite a marked difference, perhaps explaining why cholesterol levels vary so much between individuals?
This is why it is far more important to concern yourself with your cholesterol ratio rather than your overall cholesterol level. These ratios are comprised of good:bad cholesterol.
Scientists have found that the smaller LDL molecules carry the highest risk for cardiovascular disease. Even more interestingly they have found that increasing the intake of saturated fats increases the size of your small LDL molecules to the larger sized HDL molecules reducing your overall risk of CVD.
At KH Chiropractic we not only treat mechanical dysfunctions but we also educate people on how to maintain healthy spines in the long term to reduce the chance of future flare ups. We have to respect the building blocks of our body and what we eat can have a massive impact on our overall health and ability to heal following injury.