Is cholesterol healthy or unhealthy?

LDL cholesterol & # 39; bad & # 39; and HDL cholesterol & # 39; good & # 39;: the first kills while the second is beneficial to health. Some people are extremely fit and lead healthy lifestyles, but have high levels of LDL and very low levels of HDL. What's going on?

The truth is that nobody knows everything about how cholesterol works in the body.

Cholesterol is an insoluble lipid, a fat. That means that this compound must travel in the blood when bound and transported by protein molecules.

As expected, combinations of fats and proteins are called lipoproteins. There are two types: low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL). The first is "bad" because it is a risk factor for atherosclerosis: the twisting of the arteries, which can cause a heart attack or stroke.

However, there are many other factors involved with atherosclerosis that add to the confusion, such as immune responses and inflammation.

Cholesterol levels are affected by the amount of dietary fat that is absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestine and how the liver produces "bad" LDL cholesterol.

There are also genetic factors involved with an individual's cholesterol levels. These are linked to levels in parents and siblings. They can be perfectly healthy, but they have high levels of "bad" cholesterol.

While it is known that high levels of HDL cholesterol & # 39; good & # 39; They are protective, there is no evidence that low HDL levels are in any way harmful. Therefore, all the blame for atherosclerosis seems to lie with LDL cholesterol & # 39; bad & # 39 ;.

The doctors' advice is to do everything possible to reduce LDL cholesterol levels & # 39; bad & # 39; at less than 3 mmol per liter, and for total cholesterol levels at 5 mmol per liter or less.

To do this, they suggest having a diet based on plants, fruits and vegetables. They suggest minimizing the intake of animal fats and obtaining as much protein and fat as possible from blue fish. In addition, they suggest losing weight in case of overweight and not smoking.

However, in light of the new idea of ​​health to reverse obesity and heart disease by severely reducing sugar and increasing healthy saturated fats in the diet, these recommendations now seem quite simplistic.

Could it be that current diets, rich in sugar and rich in carbohydrates, which are clearly the main cause of obesity, could have something to do with high levels of bad cholesterol?

Perhaps excessive sugar consumption interferes with cholesterol metabolism?

That there is a global crisis of obesity and concern about LDL cholesterol levels & # 39; bad & # 39; In many people, there seems to be a link between these two diseases.

Or maybe it's because too many man-made polyunsaturated vegetable oils are consumed? The current recommendations are & # 39; avoid & # 39; Natural fats in foods such as butter, whole milk and cheese. Perhaps this "abnormal" way of knowing what to eat is actually causing high levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol?

The results of studies on these ideas should be quite interesting.