A personal training client in my Timonium gym recently asked me:
“What foods do I need to avoid to keep my cholesterol numbers down?”
- Cholesterol is a structural component of cell membranes
- Cholesterol is necessary for the production of bile (which aids in the digestion of fat)
- Cholesterol is used to make vitamin D and certain hormones, like estrogen and testosterone
More than 80% of the cholesterol currently in your bloodstream was made by your liver.
Your body needs about 1000 mg of cholesterol a day. When you eat 200 mg of cholesterol (that’s about 1 egg’s worth), your body will produce another 800 mg or so.
In short, your body prefers to stay within a small range. When you ingest more cholesterol, your liver slows down it’s production of cholesterol.
For most people, there is NO correlation between the amount of cholesterol that you eat versus the total cholesterol in your blood.
About 40% of people will have some small increase in both LDL and HDL (hence an increase in Total Chol.) that has been shown to have no influence on heart health.
Some extremely cautious doctors recommend people with multiple risks factors (diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc.) limit their dietary cholesterol.
That’s the ONLY legitimate reason Cholesterol is still listed on our food labels.
Unless you have issues that are far beyond my scope of practice, you don’t need to worry about the cholesterol in your food.