Cholesterol is a fatty substance needed to produce estrogen, vitamin D and other vital components. It is found in some foods, but is also produced by the liver.
There are two types of cholesterol:
– The bad one, LDL or low-density lipoprotein, which is deposited on the walls of the arteries and can cause cardiovascular problems
– The good one, HDL or high-density lipoprotein, which collects LDL cholesterol and carries it to the liver, where it is eliminated
HDL has always been considered benevolent because it helps clean fatty wastes from the veins and arteries, thus preventing bad cholesterol. For this reason, numerous studies have focused on increasing doses of HDL in the blood to try to counteract the harmful side.
But, like with everything, excesses are never good. And having high levels of HDL or high-density lipoproteins (good cholesterol), can also be bad for the health.
These investigations discovered that there are people with high levels of good cholesterol who have the same risk of suffering from heart disease as those who have high levels of bad cholesterol. This is because of a gene mutation, which affects one in every 1,700 people, turning what we believed was good into something harmful.
In the end, what is recommended is having a balanced diet and eating healthily, avoiding excess fat to not imbalance the optimal amounts of LDL and HDL.
There are foods rich in fiber and plant sterols, such as nuts, which can help delay the absorption of fats, but is clear that every person is their own universe and every body assimilates foods differently.