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Nine common cholesterol misconceptions

Birmingham, Alabama has a high incidence of cholesterol related diseases. Previously it was thought only inactive people with poor nutrition suffered from cholesterol. The last 20 years have shed new light on the facts and misconceptions that we know about cholesterol.

1. Cholesterol levels are directly contributed by your diet and exercise routines.

Blood cholesterol levels, as well as naturally made body cholesterol levels, are not necessarily regulated by your personal diet and exercise choices. The amazing thing about the human body is that everyone is unique, and since this is the case, cholesterol is not broken down exactly the same within everyone’s body. The liver produces cholesterol and the intestines absorb them. The liver produces enough cholesterol for it to be turned into digestive acids, or bile as it is commonly called, and the excess amounts are absorbed by the intestines and passed out of the body as waste. Some livers produce more than others, and when the intestines are unable to absorb all of it, and then LDL levels within the body increase, causing the medical problems associated with high cholesterol. It is important to understand that activity levels and diet choices are not the sole cause of high cholesterol levels in your body, but it is important to eat healthy and exercise in order to maintain a high level of cardiovascular health. In order to fully understand how cholesterol is produced, visit the American Heart Association Website.

2. Cholesterol levels can be lowered by switching from butter to margarine.

Butter and margarine are both high in fat, and since the diet should contain the least amount of trans fat and saturated fat as possible, both of these products should be used in moderation. Check the labels, which are required by the FDA, and purchase the products with the lowest amounts of these two types of fat, which will aid the overall diet. Soft margarines and butters are usually the better choice, and the ones that state that they contain “0 grams of trans fat” are the best. Remember that LDL levels can be lowered within the body by eating an all around healthy diet, and not by simply changing one product that you consume. To learn more about healthy diets, visit the American Heart Association Website.

3. High cholesterol levels are not a worry to people that are thin.

It is true that overweight people are more likely to have high cholesterol levels, but thin people, healthy people, young and old people are all targets for this medical condition. Cholesterol levels should be checked by a doctor on a regular basis by everyone. Nobody can eat what they want, when they want, and expect to maintain a low level of LDL cholesterol within their body. You can be thin, eat healthy, be active, and still have high cholesterol levels. To learn more about maintaining a healthy cholesterol level visit the American Heart Association Website.



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