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CHOLESTEROL: FACTS TO KNOW NOW
Our society is failing to prevent a major preventable illness: coronary heart disease. Why? Quite simply, we're eating like there's no tomorrow.
The idea that there's a link between what you eat and heart disease risk is surely not new to you. By now, almost everyone has heard of cholesterol and knows to watch out for cholesterol-containing foods. It's difficult to eat an egg anymore without worrying about clogged arteries. But what you may not know is that the cholesterol you eat may have less effect on the arteries than the fat you eat.
The strongest influence on blood cholesterol level is total intake of saturated fat, whether of animal or vegetable origin. These fats (from the marbling in your steak to the coconut oil in your store-bought cookies) affect blood cholesterol levels up to five times as much as dietary cholesterol does.
The second most important factor is an excess of total calories, especially total fat calories--anything more than what's required to maintain ideal body weight. Dietary cholesterol ranks only third as a risk factor (at least for most of us), far behind saturated fat intake and obesity.
How does saturated fat intake influence blood cholesterol levels? To answer this question requires a quick science review.
Cholesterol is a waxy substance produced in the bodies of animals. Your own liver makes cholesterol--all that you need, in fact. Though cholesterol has received bad …