Kitchen Myths

Facts and fiction about food and cooking, by Peter Aitken

Avoid cholesterol-containing foods to promote heart health

Among some folks, it is an article of faith that one should avoid cholesterol in the diet to lessen the risk of heart disease. So, foods such as eggs, liver, shellfish, butter, and cheese were on many people’s restricted or avoid list. That’s too bad, because research over the past decade or so has shown pretty conclusively that there’s no association between dietary cholesterol and heart disease. It is true that the amount and types of cholesterol in your bloodstream are connected with heart disease, but cholesterol metabolism is a very complex matter and blood levels are affected by many factors, but not by dietary cholesterol (except in so-called hyperresponders, a very small percentage of the population). So, you still may want to limit cholesterol-containing foods if only because they tend to be high-calorie, but there’s no reason to shun them over concern with your cholesterol levels.

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2 responses to “Avoid cholesterol-containing foods to promote heart health

  1. Blackkitty February 26, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Also, cholesterol is an important compound in our bodies, it insulates nerves and does other stuff! So even if they are related, cholesterol is good!

  2. Robin K Kane-Kerby April 21, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I actually agree with you on the fact that limiting dietary cholesterol has little effect on controlling serum cholesterol (that which is circulating in our blood). In reality, excess carbohydrate consumption in a single sitting has more effect on your cholesterol than eating a diet of eggs and bacon. Granted, those excess calories come with their own perils, but raising your serum cholesterol isn’t one of them. See the following research data: http://doctordoni.com/2014/03/how-sugar-not-fat-raises-your-cholesterol.html .

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