|Cholesterol is an essential body lipid compound made by the liver. It
can also be supplied from the diet by eating meat and dairy products.
Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal products and by-products.
Excess cholesterol consumption may raise blood cholesterol levels and
lead to heart disease. Cholesterol is transported through the
bloodstream via lipo-proteins. The fact that Eskimos eat a diet high in
cholesterol from fish lipids and yet have a low incidence of
cardiovascular disease suggests that perhaps we should concentrate
more on the lipids we are lacking in our diet rather than on cholesterol
HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) are also called good cholesterols
because they transport cholesterol away from artery walls and back to
the liver for storage.
LDLs (low-density lipoproteins), called bad cholesterols, promote the
circulation of cholesterol in the bloodstream, predisposing the arteries
to plaque buildup and eventual blockage.
Triglycerides are fats that contain three groups of fatty acids:
saturated, polyunsaturated, and mono-unsaturated.
Saturated fats are the only lipids capable of raising blood cholesterol
levels. Butter, margarine, whole milk, and fats found in meat are high in
saturated fat. Eating too much sugar which can create excess insulin
response can also raise blood cholesterol.
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats do not raise blood
cholesterol levels. Two recommended monounsaturated oils are canola
and olive oil. Safflower and corn oil are highest in polyunsaturated fats.
Current research suggests that cooking with monounsaturates is