Monday, August 6, 2012

CHOLESTEROL IN YOUR MEAT DIET


In my cooking classes and lectures, I have been asked many times about cholesterol - - the most common question being, ‘how can I lower my cholesterol level?’...
I tell them that if you want to lower your cholesterol level, the most important ‘food group' you have to eliminate in your diet are all types of meat, fish, poultry and eggs. If you do this, in one hit you will cut out a major portion of cholesterol and saturated fat in your blood system. 

Cholesterol is produced in the liver, so a food must have had a liver to produce cholesterol. In other words, only animal flesh (including fish and seafoods) and animal products (dairy and eggs) contain cholesterol. Plants and products made from plants contain no cholesterol. 

The human body DOES need cholesterol to function properly, but it manufactures its own. The body produces 500 to 1,000 miligrams of cholesterol a day and doesn't need to get any through foods eaten. The average count for a healthy person is about 150 miligrams of cholesterol per 100 millimeter of blood serum. If you regularly eat too much meat and eggs, cholesterol count gets as high as 250 milligrams per 100 millimeters of blood serum. When it gets this high, that's when fat deposits form in the arterial lining. 

There are two kinds of cholesterol in the human body -- the bad kind and the good kind. When bad cholesterol circulates in your blood, it forms deposits on the arteries that supply blood to the heart and brain. This will gradually form a hard plaque on the arterial walls making them thick and inflexible. If this build up becomes so great that there is blockage in the arteries, one could get a heart attack and stroke. 

When we speak of bad cholesterol, we also speak of saturated fat. It is interesting to know that if you eat meat, fish and eggs, you also consume saturated fat. What has saturated fat got to do with cholesterol? Saturated fat increases the cholesterol level. If you eat animal food, not only do you increase your cholesterol count by the cholesterol already contained in it, but it's 'other bad friend'- -saturated fat- -rides along with it to increase the count even higher! So by refraining from eating food in the animal kingdom, cholesterol and saturated fat are automatically eliminated.

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