Few things in public health are controversial and often misunderstood such as cholesterol and how they are affected by the diet.
When discussing heart disease, it’s really important to understand what it means exactly. The heart is a muscle that generates the force to propel the blood throughout the vascular system. A key step in the heart disease is a sterol (mainly cholesterol) finding it’s way inside the arterial wall. When cholesterol comes, we often misunderstand the term. Let’s get it understand in a simple human terms.
Cholesterol is absolutely essential for human body. It’s an organic molecule that humans can not live without and is found in the membrane of every single cell, helping to regulate fluidity and structure.
To your surprise, most of the cholesterol in our bodies are actually produced by our own cells. The cholesterol we eat is usually a minor source compared to the amount we produce.
What people call “cholesterol” isn’t really cholesterol, it’s the proteins that carry cholesterol around.
When people are talking about “cholesterol” in regards to heart diseases, they are talking about the cholesterol itself. Instead they are referring a structure that carry cholesterol, called lipoproteins.
Cholesterol is like an oil droplet in a glass of water which simply won’t mix. It can not travel through blood stream on its own. For this reason cholesterol is carried around the blood stream in lipoproteins.
There are many types of lipoproteins, but the two most important ones are called LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein). These are commonly referred to as the “bad” and “good” cholesterol, but this is actually inaccurate. All cholesterol is the same, it’s the lipoproteins that are different.
So… it is critical to understand that heart disease really is NOT a cholesterol disease, it is a lipoprotein disease. Having a lot of “cholesterol” in your bloodstream is NOT a bad thing, unless this cholesterol is being carried around in the wrong lipoproteins.