The Cholesterol Controversy: Every morning we have the same conversation across my egg. My husband insists it’ll be the death of me, and I keep reminding him that our grandparents have been eating eggs for way longer and boasting about how they could do ten times more work than we, the so called, health conscious generation of today can.
This is no silly conversation, this is a serious decision that mothers face every morning at breakfast; do I give my child eggs and buttered toast or do I feed him cereal with low fat milk?? I just think it’s sad that our children should go through life being deprived of the basic wholesome nutritive elements that made our childhood so yummy, yellowy and gooey.
The Cholesterol Boogey Man
The battle exists because of the Cholesterol Boogey man. Yes, the scary factor that’s predicted to clog up your arteries and ruin your breakfast forever. Research, though great, is largely evolutionary, saying one thing today and the complete opposite thing ten years from now. Cholesterol is not all bad it’s the excess consumption of junk foods laden in fats that is health compromising.
Science has always known that cholesterol is vital for the manufacturing of male and female hormones as well as bile which in turn helps in absorbing fat soluble vitamins from the intestines. Your body manufactures its own cholesterol too; generally this is enough to meet most of its own needs. However, if you do consume meals that are animal derived and rich in cholesterol than the body correspondingly decreases its own production of cholesterol to maintain a level. Excess cholesterol is also secreted in the bile and later secreted out of the body through the feces. So, you see your body can handle an egg yolk twice to thrice a week without risk of apoplexy. But, what you must remember to do is this:
- Eat good organic foods like butter and eggs and cream in moderate amounts. By moderate amounts I mean amounts that your body can handle without compromising its balance. How will you know? Well, one always knows when the waistline is expanding and the backside is ballooning! When the scales show it, you must slow it…your consumption of the “good stuff”. I believe it’s not the food but the amount of it consumed that can be harmful.
- Drink the real milk and compensate by saying no to those potato crisps or those doughnuts. Why compromise on the king of elixirs? I say drink full cream milk and simply walk a few blocks to work. Not only will you stave off the pounds but you’ll also get very vital fat soluble vitamins from the milk!
- Keep good stock of your family medical history. There are those unlucky few who have the cholesterol gene. When you have this it’s inherited and predisposes you to higher levels of cholesterol from the get go. In such cases, you will always have to be more vigilant, exercise a little more diligently and maybe get some medical help.
- Dietary elements that you can add to help boost that cholesterol management :
- Oatmeal, oatbran and high fiber meals which are proven to lower the LDL (bad cholesterol)
- Fish rich in omega-3 fatty oils can help boost sagging levels of HDL (good cholesterol). Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid, meaning humans can’t synthesis it. The positive boost it gives HDL means it protects you from heart disease by reportedly cleaning up the plaque clogs.
- For those who don’t like fish can get the same effect by consuming flax seeds, tofu, beans and nuts.
- Elaborating on nuts, almonds and walnuts are amazing agents that reduce your risk for heart attack. Just a handful is enough though. Taking too many can lead to weight gain as they are excessively rich in calories. You should of course remember that these shouldn’t be salted or sweet coated!!!
My most favorite topic of research these days is the effect of this little power vitamin on cholesterol levels. I keep a watch on articles related to it since recent events in scientific research have led many medics to believe that taking in niacin can actually help raise HDL levels too.
Niacin is a part of the multivitamin B complex which is vital for the proper metabolism of carbohydrates as well as the health of your digestive system, hair, skin and eyes. That’s the reason why it’s a part of almost all multivitamin preparations. Generally, there isn’t enough in your daily food intake to have the cumulative effect desired for the HDL boosting effect, so doctors prescribe it in higher doses to patients who need it. Never exceed the prescribed dose as it can have toxic effects too.
Hence, in a nutshell, life is all about the balance of good and bad, not to mention observing moderation in all things edible and even otherwise! Eat organic full foods but do so in moderation, saying no to all the fat rich elements that are unhealthy.