In this era of dearness, almost everything is free… you think I’m mad? I mean not that everything has no price. It just seems that we have reached the era where we become more aware of our health conditions. Thus, it seems to be the era of everything that is -free. Try scanning every available product in your local grocery and you will see what I mean.
Your bread is bromate-free; your yogurt is fat-free; your cooking oil is cholesterol-free; your canned soup is preservative-free; and the list goes on and on. Now you are beginning to wonder about the next -free commodity that you would encounter.
This is not exactly bad. In fact, health experts encourage us to be more sensitive about the foods we eat and the nutrients that we get from them. However, not everything that is –free is healthy. Our bodies need certain substances to be able to function well.
Let us take a look at cholesterol for instance. Very simply defined, cholesterol is a fatty substance that occurs naturally in the blood, cell walls, and most body tissues. The liver makes cholesterol, and it enters the body via foods rich in saturated fat.
There are two types of cholesterol; these are what they termed as the good and bad cholesterol. Like the literary split personality of Jekyll and Hyde, it has a good side because it is needed for certain important body functions. But for many people, cholesterol also has an evil side. When present in excessive amounts, it can injure blood vessels, cause heart attacks, and stroke.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad” cholesterol. This is the form in which cholesterol is carried into the blood and is the main cause of harmful fatty buildup in arteries. The higher the LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, the greater the heart diseases risk.
On the other hand, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” cholesterol. This “good” cholesterol carries blood cholesterol back to the liver, where it can be eliminated. HDL helps prevent a cholesterol buildup in blood vessels. Low HDL levels increase heart disease risk.
So before you go into your cholesterol deprivation program, remember that cholesterol is essential for human life. It builds and repairs cells, it is used to produce sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, it is converted to bile acids to help you digest food and it is found in large amounts in brain and nerve tissue. more about cholestrol