If bacteria would not touch a food, should we really?
For years the official advice has been to eat a low fat diet to avoid atherosclerosis. It is a widespread understanding that polyunsaturated fat are heart-healthy and saturated fats cause problem. And cholesterol has been described as the main villain to avoid at all cost.
But more recent research effort has turned this conception on its head and indicates that the previously held views are either incomplete or wrong.
The most decried myth nowadays is probably that of cholesterol. It is now understood that cholesterol is much more than a molecule to be simply avoided. For a start, cholesterol is the precursor of several hormones, including sex hormones (testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone). It is also used by the body to make bile, and is an integral component of cellular membrane; it is also an anti-oxidant and a repair substance. It is necessary for correct brain function. Finally, cholesterol levels are regulated by the body itself as the body produces most of the cholesterol it needs, whether you eat fatty foods or not.
Cholesterol initially got bad press as, in some cases, the lipoprotein molecule which carries cholesterol in the blood gets into an unhealthy state known as oxidised LDL, which is now very clearly associated with heart disease. It is increasingly perceived that this unhealthy change is triggered by oxidative damage and excessive consumption of polyunsaturated fats, oxidized seed oils and carbohydrates.
And why would our body hate us anyway and produce toxic substances? If the body makes cholesterol, it probably is because it needs to. Eat an anti-oxident rich diet and cholesterol shouldn’t be a worry.