Dietary Fat and Increased Cholesterol Levels
It has been proven that the accumulation of cholesterol causes narrowing and blockage of the heart's arteries. For decades, various nutritionists have been saying to avoid high cholesterol in the diet. They have stated that 300 mg of dietary cholesterol a day is the upper limit per day.
But today's dietary and cardiac guidelines do not consider "dietary" cholesterol a risk to the heart in modern research because the liver makes cholesterol in the human body. If you eat a low-cholesterol diet, the liver will produce more cholesterol to compensate. One study found that taking just 100 milligrams of cholesterol a day, i.e., 50 percent of the cholesterol needed in a day, reduced blood cholesterol by only one percent. People with high cholesterol make it in their liver, which cannot be reduced by avoiding dietary cholesterol.
We have seen many obese people with a lot of body fat, but their blood cholesterol levels are normal; on the other hand, many thin, lean people have very high blood cholesterol levels. So the real culprit is dietary fat.
What Are the Types of Dietary Fat?
There are three types of dietary fats:
The first two of these are harmful to health. Dietary fats increase triglycerides levels but not cholesterol levels. High triglycerides increase the risk of pancreatitis, i.e., inflammation of the pancreas.
1. Trans Fats:
It is found in commercially produced ghee, and even a tiny amount of it is incredibly harmful to health. It has been banned in many countries, including the United States. It is used in market items such as fried foods, pizza, burgers, biscuits, cakes, margarine, and restaurant meals. The American Heart Association recommends that less than 1 % of calories be consumed daily from trans fats. For example, if a person's requirement is 2000 calories per day, less than 20 calories should be from trans fats. One gram of fat provides nine calories, so the upper limit is only 2 grams of trans fats. Trans fats increase bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood while lowering good cholesterol (HDL).
2. Saturated Fats:
These are obtained from animals such as red meat, butter, ghee, milk, and eggs and from tropical plants such as coconut oil and palm oil. Saturated fats raise blood cholesterol, but it is still debated whether it has harmful effects on health. Research has shown that saturated fats increase good (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL). A recent meta-analysis of 21 studies found no conclusive evidence that saturated fats increase the risk of heart disease and that replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can benefit the heart. According to the American Heart Association, the body should get less than 7 % of its daily calories from saturated fats. For example, if the daily requirement is 2000 calories, less than 150 calories should be from saturated fats. One gram of fat provides nine calories, so only 16 grams of saturated fat is the upper limit.
3. Unsaturated Fats:
These are fats derived from plants such as olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil. These fats are good for health. They raise good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol. No upper limit on these saturated fats has been suggested, but replacing as many trans fats and saturated fats as you can with unsaturated fats has been suggested. Although these do not increase cardiac disease risk like other fats, these too are full of calories. Excessive consumption may cause weight gain and obesity, an independent risk factor for cardiac diseases, primarily if central (abdominal obesity, also known as apple-shaped obesity).
Does Egg-Yolks Increase Cholesterol Level?
Some medical experts say that you should eat only egg whites and not yolks because yolks contain cholesterol. Yes, the yolk contains about 200 mg of cholesterol, but as mentioned earlier, dietary cholesterol does not increase blood cholesterol, so there is nothing wrong with eating the yolk. This was revealed in a study conducted at Harvard Medical School.
Does Desi Ghee Increase Cholesterol Level?
As it has been said that desi ghee has a high content of saturated fats, and research is controversial, it is concluded that desi ghee is much better than commercially produced ghee. Still, if vegetable oil is used instead of desi ghee, it can benefit health. This is because desi Ghee contains less than 1 % cholesterol. Desi ghee is made from butter and is widely used in the Indian subcontinent, especially in rural areas.
Do Vegetable Oils Increase Cholesterol Levels?
However, be careful because some product companies write "Cholesterol Free" or "Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil" on their packaging, so beware of these two labels. There is no advantage in being cholesterol-free because the actual harm is from trans fats and saturated fats, the amount of which should be seen on the labeling. These companies label trans fats as "hydrogenated vegetable oils," which are no less than toxic and are completely banned in many countries, including the United States. Therefore, when we see "vegetable oils" written, we consider them beneficial for health. To be clear, trans fats are formed from the hydrogenation of vegetable oil, also known as hydrogenated vegetable oil. One question is why trans fats are used in restaurant meals and other products like sweets and why vegetable oil is not used? This is because vegetable oils and their products can quickly become foul-smelling and spoil, while hydrogenation can prevent them from smelling and spoilage for a long time.
Should Fats Be Included in Diet?
Fats are part of the diet and are necessary for absorbing some vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is recommended to have 20 to 35 percent of daily required calories from fats. Cholesterol itself is also necessary. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol, and hormones such as estrogens and testosterone are made from cholesterol. Moreover, cholesterol is part of the cell membrane.
So does a cholesterol-containing diet harm anyone? Hypercholesterolemia can be caused by high cholesterol in the diet in some people, most of whom are diabetics or have high blood cholesterol levels and heart disease. Such people should also be careful with cholesterol-rich foods.
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