Whenever I mention that I eat lots of meat and eggs, people always ask, “But what about your cholesterol??” Well, if you’ve been paying attention, you should know that consuming good fats will help joint mobility, brain function, mood, and many other facets of life. While there’s a LOT of science behind it, I also think proof is in the numbers.
I recently got blood work done and here is my cholesterol count.
Total cholesterol: 183
Total cholesterol/HDL: 3
Although there are still some things that the American Heart Association needs to make the public aware of (and themselves for that matter), let’s take a look at their guidelines and how I compare for risk of heart disease.
Total cholesterol: low risk = less than 200mg/dl; high risk = more than 240. 183 = LOW RISK.
HDL: low risk = more than 60; high risk = less than 40. 61 = LOW RISK.
LDL*: low risk = low risk = less than 100; high risk = more than 190. 116 = NEAR LOW RISK.
Triglycerides: low risk = less than 150; high risk = more than 200. 31 = VERY LOW RISK.
Total cholesterol/HDL:low risk = less than 3.5; high risk = over 7. 3 = LOW RISK.
The kicker is that at the end of these guidelines, ADA writes “On the whole, Americans should reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and total fat in their diet.” (ADA: Cholesterol Levels)
I wonder what they would say if I told them my diet consisted of 60% fat, less than 20% carbs, and 0% grains!!!
*Now, LDL the “bad” cholesterol can actually be broken down into parts: big fluffy LDL and small dense LDL (VLDL). It’s the small dense stuff that can contribute to plaque buildup in arteries, but I don’t have the breakdown of numbers right now. If I get them, I’ll let them know. Also see Evan’s post in the comments for more info.
What should you take away from this? Eating fat does not MAKE you fat. Nor does it mess with your blood lipid profile. What does? Refined carbs and sugar. Things that mess with your insulin and inflammation. For the basics, check this post out.