These days, it seems like everything is free of some unhealthy ingredient. Sugar-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free; every wants to buy a product that is free of that nagging aspect in their diet.
Check out the products at your local grocery store. You’ll probably find that everything is free of something. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean these kinds of products don’t come at a price.
Now, nobody disagrees that cutting down on some of the unhealthy ingredients in your diet is a bad idea. Still, there is almost no aspect that you can cut out of your diet completely. Almost everything we consume in our diet is useful to our bodies, even necessary, in moderation.
Take cholesterol for instance. Cholesterol is a fatty material that appears in many areas of the body: cell walls, blood, most bodily tissue, etc. Cholesterol usually enters the body through foods that are high in saturated fat.
Cholesterol is a necessary component for certain parts of the body to function, particularly for the membranes of cell walls. Ironically, cholesterol in healthy amounts also helps the body absorb the fat contained in the intestines. Unfortunately, many people maintain diets that are far too high in cholesterol.
When people consume too much cholesterol, their body can no longer use all the cholesterol effectively. Cholesterol gets stuck in the body, as it is difficult to metabolize, just like fat. This can cause injury to blood vessels which is a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
Fortunately, there is a bad kind of cholesterol and good a good kind of cholesterol that can be differentiated. The bad kind is called a low density liboprotein (LDL). This is the form that causes cholesterol to stay present in the blood, which increases the risk of heart disease. The good kind of cholesterol is called high density liboprotein (HDL), and helps bring cholesterol back to the liver where it can be eliminated.
Before you make a decision to purchase only products that are cholesterol-free, make sure you remember that some cholesterol, the right cholesterol, is good for your body. It will build up and maintain cell walls, is used to produce many of the natural hormones in the body, helps the body digest food efficiently, and is a key component of nerve and brain tissue.
In addition to that, About.com has an excellent list on things that can help increase your good cholesterol level, such as:
1. Stop smoking
2. Eat more fiber. It can be gained from nuts such as almond or various vegetables.
3. Reduce your alcohol consumption. (Read on my weekend drinking tips)
Labels: diet tips