Cholesterol: Myth vs Reality

Myth: Cholesterol is inherently bad.
Reality: All mammals need cholesterol to survive.
Myth: High cholesterol is dangerous.
Reality: High cholesterol is not a problem by itself. But an unfavorable ratio of “good” to “bad” cholesterol, along with factors such as your weight, the amount of exercise you get, and your family health history could be trouble.
Myth: People who have heart attacks have high cholesterol.
Reality: Although high cholesterol is a significant risk factor in heart disease, some people develop heart disease and have heart attacks even though their cholesterol levels are normal or even low.
Myth: You must cut out cholesterol containing foods if you are to lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Reality: Cholesterol in the blood comes from your diet but also from the cholesterol your liver makes. In fact, your liver makes far more cholesterol than you eat. So cutting back on dietary cholesterol may have little effect.
Myth: I should avoid eggs to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
Reality: Several published studies show that an egg or two a day has little effect on people with normal cholesterol levels.
Myth: If I follow a low-fat diet and exercise a lot, my cholesterol levels will go down.
Reality: Some people’s genetic make ups mean that lifestyle changes alone no matter how rigorously they’re followed won’t be enough to bring cholesterol levels into the safe zone. These people will require medication in addition to lifestyle changes.

Myth: Young people don’t have high cholesterol.
Reality: Everyone from age 20 up should have their cholesterol measured. Studies have shown that plaque can build up in the arteries that supply blood to the heart as early as the late teens,

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