When it comes to managing cholesterol, there are many myths surrounding it that if believed may do more harm than good. People who have elevated cholesterol levels often go overboard on dietary restrictions and eliminate all fat including healthy fat from their diet. They also fail to take in account the hormonal imbalances in their body that may be increasing bad cholesterol levels. While indulging in fried foods, full-fat dairy, red meat, sugary treats and processed food must be avoided at all costs, unsaturated fats should be added to the diet in moderation as they can help eliminate bad cholesterol in your blood stream and keep your heart healthy. Nuts and seeds, ghee, fish, etc are some of the healthy fats that must be consumed. (Also read: Amla to buttermilk; 5 superfoods to lower cholesterol levels naturally)
Nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary in her recent Instagram post says that eating foods that are high in cholesterol is not the only factor that raises your cholesterol.
“There’s still so much misinformation about this and often I have clients asking me my cholesterol is high should I still be doing ‘Fat First’? Should I avoid the egg yolks , ghee, etc,” says Chowdhary, adding that “if you’re at 200 (cholesterol levels) with a good thyroid panel, no inflammatory markers out of range you’re still in the clear.”
Chowdhary elaborates on other possible root causes of elevated cholesterol levels:
Did you know cortisol is made from cholesterol? If you’re under a lot of stress your cortisol levels are probably high too and this can increase cholesterol being sent to your adrenals through your blood. The more cortisol your body needs the more cholesterol it will have to produce. Focus on managing your stress levels first rather than cutting back on goood quality fats.
2. Low T3 production or conversion
Adequate T3 is required to convert cholesterol into essential hormones like estrogen and progesterone. And a low T3 means you don’t have enough thyroid hormone to produce these other hormones. This leads to elevated cholesterol levels in the blood that are left behind un utilized.
3. Your diet is high in vegetable oils, seeds oils, canola oil, corn oil, etc and refined carbs
This can lead to elevated cholesterol levels. Too much PUFAs damages the transport of fats around the body which can build up in your blood vessels.
4. Gut issues
Cholesterol is a healing agent. If there is any damage or inflammation, cholesterol rushes to heal. Stop focusing on just cholesterol as the issue when there is underlying inflammation, gut issues that is actually causing the elevated levels. Get to the root cause of this inflammation.