Priceline Pharmacy

Shop 24

420 Secret Harbour Boulevard

0468 703 755

Secret Harbour
Lakelands
Halls Head

Allied Health

5 Peelwood Parade

Halls Head

0468 703 755

Miami Physiotherapy

66 Cobler Street 

Falcon

08 9534 4284

Falcon

Lakelands Shopping Centre

Shop 32

49 Banksiadale Gate

08 9542 9880

Port Kennedy

Revivify Clinic

4 Paxton way

Port Kennedy

08 9524 5751

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You can find me in the following 5 clinic locations and you will find my contact details below:

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0468 703 755

08 9415 1364

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Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

May 28, 2019

 

Are you just about done with everyone's “obsession” with cholesterol?  Do you already know that cholesterol is not all bad, in fact there is “good” cholesterol?

 

Well, here it is.  Let me bust some common cholesterol myths right now.     

 

Starting with the myth that “cholesterol is cholesterol” because it's not.  Depending on which of its buddies cholesterol is floating through your blood with makes a massive difference.  Not to mention the fact that cholesterol is essential to good health.  (Yes, you read that right!).

 

After I bust those myths I'll give you the goods on what healthy lifestyle choices you can make to increase that “good” cholesterol (because medicines don't seem to be able to do that but I will tell you what can!).

 

Five Cholesterol Myths and What to Eat Instead

 

You knew there was a bit of an over-emphasis (borderline obsession) about cholesterol, right?

 

Before we jump into some myths let's make sure we're on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

 

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

 

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it's floating through your blood is what's more important than just how much of it there is overall.  In fact depending on what it's combined with can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart.  Yes, opposite!

 

So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood.  These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”. 

 

They're grouped into two main categories:

  • HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.

  • LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence their “badness”).

 

And yes, it's even more complicated than this.  Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test.

 

So “cholesterol” isn't simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecules it's bound to in your blood and what it is actually doing there.

 

Myth #2: Cholesterol is bad

 

Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for your body to produce critical things like vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, your sex hormones (e.g. estrogen and testosterone), as well as bile to help you absorb dietary fats.  Not to mention that it's incorporated into the membranes of your cells.

 

Talk about an important molecule!

 

The overall amount of cholesterol in your blood (AKA “total cholesterol”) isn't nearly as important as how much of each kind you have in your blood.

 

While way too much LDL cholesterol as compared with HDL (the LDL:HDL ratio) may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease it is absolutely not the only thing to consider for heart health.

 

Myth #3: Eating cholesterol increases your bad cholesterol

 

Most of the cholesterol in your blood is made by your liver.  It's actually not from the cholesterol you eat.  Why do you think cholesterol medications block an enzyme in your liver (HMG Co-A reductase, to be exact)?  'Cause that's where it's made!

 

What you eat still can affect how much cholesterol your liver produces.  After a cholesterol-rich meal your liver doesn't need to make as much.

 

Myth #4: Your cholesterol should be as low as possible

 

As with almost everything in health and wellness there's a balance that needs to be maintained.  There are very few extremes that are going to serve you well.

 

People with too-low levels of cholesterol have increased risk of death from other non-heart-related issues like certain types of cancers, as well as suicide.

 

Myth #5: Drugs are the only way to get a good cholesterol balance

 

Don't start or stop any medications without talking with your doctor.

 

And while drugs can certainly lower the “bad” LDL cholesterol they don't seem to be able to raise the “good” HDL cholesterol all that well.

 

Guess what does?

 

Nutrition and exercise!

 

One of the most impactful ways to lower your cholesterol with diet is to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  I mean lots, say up to 10 servings a day.  Every day.

 

Don't worry the recipe below should help you add at least another salad to your day.

 

You can (should?) also exercise, lose weight, stop smoking, and eat better quality fats.  That means fatty fish, avocados and olive oil.  Ditch those over-processed hydrogenated “trans” fats.

 

Summary:

 

The science of cholesterol and heart health is complicated and we're learning more every day.  You may not need to be as afraid of it as you are.  And there is a lot you can do from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective to improve your cholesterol level.

 

Recipe (Dressing to go with your salad): Orange Hemp Seed Dressing

 

Makes about ¾ cup

 

½ cup hemp seeds

½ cup orange juice

1 clove of garlic, peeled

dash salt and/or pepper

 

Blend all ingredients together until creamy.

 

Serve on top of your favourite salad and Enjoy!

 

Tip: Store extra in airtight container in the fridge.  Will keep for about a week.

 

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