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Monitor Dietary Fat

Scare headlines have worried people at the mere mention of the word cholesterol; yet some cholesterol is vital to our good health. It is only a problem when there is too much of it.

Is Cholesterol Really Bad

Despite all the bad press, cholesterol isn't really "bad." Cholesterol forms the building block of some important hormones in the body, including sex hormones such at testosterone and estrogen. It is also an important component of cell membranes.

Our Body Makes It

Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, even if you don't eat any cholesterol in your diet and even if you reduce your saturated fat intake. In fact, your body makes three-fourths of the cholesterol in your blood. It's the excessive amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat in the diet that leads to coronary heart disease.

We Abuse It

With rare exceptions, your body makes exactly the right amount of cholesterol to meet your needs. You have exquisitely sensitive feedback mechanisms that tell your liver to increase or decrease the amount of cholesterol it manufactures as needed. Within limits, when you eat more cholesterol, your body makes less of it. But when you eat a large amount of cholesterol, you may overwhelm your body's ability to handle it.

Fat is not "bad" either; we just eat too much of it. The average person needs to consume less than fourteen grams of fat to meet the daily requirements of essential fatty acids, which your body needs to synthesize a variety of important substances. Unfortunately, the average American consumes at least eight times that amount. Over time, this extra fat builds up in the arteries.

Oils - Which one is good?

All oils are 100% fat- in other words, people believe that adding olive oil or sunflower oil to their food will lower their cholesterol levels, this is, unfortunately, simply not true. Adding any oil to your food will raise your cholesterol. While some oils are higher in saturated fat than others, all oils contain some saturated fat. So the more oil you eat the more saturated fat you consume. Canola oil is the oil lowest in saturated fat. If you use any oil, canola oil should be your choice.

Excess Cholesterol - An invitation for diseases

In epidemiological studies, scientists observe large groups of people, often for many years, without giving them any type of treatment. What do the studies tell us? In general, the more cholesterol and saturated fat you eat, the higher will be your blood cholesterol level and your blood pressure. High blood cholesterol levels and high blood pressure increases the risk of coronary heart disease. The more cholesterol and saturated fat you eat, the greater your risk of coronary heart disease, even if your blood cholesterol level and blood pressure do not rise very much.