Cholesterol is a compound made of fat that is synthesized by all animals. It makes up our cell membranes, protects nerves, and is the precursor for many hormones. It is a very important substance the body needs to function properly.
Our body creates all the cholesterol it needs. This means it is a non-essential nutrient, which we don’t need to get from our diet.
The intake of dietary cholesterol and high levels of circulating cholesterol as been associated with cardiovascular disease. The saturated fat that comes with the cholesterol, rather than the dietary cholesterol itself, is shown to have an impact on blood cholesterol levels. Saturated fat comes largely from animal foods, and some plant foods like coconut and palm fruit.
The American Heart Association and the USDA’s latest nutrition guidelines recommends keeping saturated fat intake as low as possible to prevent cardiovascular disease.
“The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats – which are found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. Decades of sound science has proven it can raise your “bad” cholesterol and put you at higher risk for heart disease.
The more important thing to remember is the overall dietary picture. Saturated fats are just one piece of the puzzle. In general, you can’t go wrong eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fewer calories.
When you hear about the latest “diet of the day” or a new or odd-sounding theory about food, consider the source. The American Heart Association makes dietary recommendations only after carefully considering the latest scientific evidence. ” – From the American Heart Association