Causes of high total blood cholesterol
There are various causes of high total blood cholesterol:
Saturated and trans fats
High total blood cholesterol levels are mainly caused by eating foods high in saturated and trans fats.
Foods high in saturated fat include fatty meats, full fat dairy products, butter, coconut oil and palm oil, and most deep fried take-away foods and commercially baked products, such as pies, biscuits, buns and pastries.
Foods high in trans fat include most deep fried take-away foods and commercially baked products, such as pies, biscuits, buns and pastries.
Limiting your intake of foods such as cakes, pastries, pies and biscuits will not only lower your saturated fat intake but also your trans fat intake.
Cholesterol in food (dietary cholesterol) has only a small effect on LDL cholesterol. Saturated and trans fats in food cause a much greater increase in LDL cholesterol.
You can include some cholesterol-rich foods, such as offal (liver, pate and kidney) and prawns, as part of a healthy balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats. You can also eat up to six eggs a week as part of a healthy balanced diet low in saturated and trans fats without increasing your risk of coronary heart disease.
We have been thought for the last two decades to avoid foods high in fat; in order to lower our cholesterol levels and remain healthy. We began avoiding all animal fats, switching to non skim dairies and cutting out meat & fish that was said to be high in cholesterol. To maintain the taste of most dairy products, the fat has been substituted by sugar or sugar alcohols; increasing our insulin levels during digestion.
Health charts suggest to eat more of the vegetable oils to get high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), because these fatty acids reduce cholesterol levels. But these sources of fat also contain omega-6 which is harmful to our bodies, and to counterpart the negative effects of omega-6 PUFA from vegetable oils, many are recommending consuming high amounts of omega-3 PUFA from fish oils. But the need for PUFA is incredibly small and both omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA can contribute to degenerative disease by increasing exposure to “oxidative stress.”
The Effect of Foods on Cholesterol Levels
Since we do not eat enough cholesterol to use for our bodies’ daily functions, our bodies make their own. Cholesterol is a fatty substance produced naturally by your liver and found in your blood. You can also get cholesterol from some foods – this is called ‘dietary cholesterol’. When we eat more foods rich in this compound, our bodies make less. If we deprive ourselves of natural foods high in cholesterol — such as eggs, butter, and liver — our body revs up its cholesterol synthesis. The end result is that, for most of us, eating foods high in cholesterol has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels.
Reasons to eat Cholesterol Rich Foods
Cholesterol-rich foods are the main source of arachidonic acid (AA). Healthy adults only need very little, if any, of it, but growing children, women who are looking to conceive or are pregnant or nursing, and people who are bodybuilding, suffering from degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, or recovering from injury need to consume AA in the diet. Strict vegans and those who consume lots of omega-3 fats might also require AA in the diet. Signs of deficiency include scaly skin, hair loss, and infertility.