There is a great deal of misunderstanding about the role of cholesterol in our health. Many people are still under the impression that
- Cholesterol in food means higher cholesterol levels in your blood, and
- Higher blood cholesterol is unhealthy.
Neither of these commonly-held views is accurate.
Dietary Cholesterol & Blood Cholesterol
The fact is, dietary cholesterol actually has very little to do with blood cholesterol levels. Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is actually produced by the liver.
The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body produces, and the less you eat, the more your body has to produce. Typically, your body will make 80% of your cholesterol, with only 20% coming from diet.
The cholesterol your liver produces can be affected by a number of factors:
- your diet (not only the amount and type of fats you consume, but carbohydrates as well),
- your genetics,
- and inflammation can also play a role.
Is Cholesterol Unhealthy?
Cholesterol is vital for human life; it is an essential component of cell membranes, it is used to produce hormones, bile acid, and vitamin D, among other functions.