Do You Really Need Cholesterol?


Molecular Chart for Cholesterol

Your body needs cholesterol for a number of reasons. It builds cell membrane structures, creates various hormones, helps the body produce Vitamin D and is required for proper metabolic function. However, you only need a small amount of cholesterol to function and too much of this otherwise healthy fat can cause blocked blood vessels.

Anyone who is trying to lose weight will want to pay close attention to cholesterol consumption and minimize it in order to shed unwanted pounds. One good way to do this is to reduce fat intake. Ideally, fat should make up less than one third of total calorie consumption, so pay attention to food labels when you go shopping to make sure the foods you buy are not only low in calories but also low in fat. Dairy products and fatty meats should only be eaten in moderation. Use low fat milk, yogurt and cheese and eat lean meats such as chicken and fish.

If you have a high cholesterol level, be sure to include plenty of complex carbohydrates in your diet. Whole grains such as brown rice, brown bread and oatmeal are good options, as are beans and root vegetables.

Reducing cholesterol intake could mean making big changes in your cooking and eating habits. Most people eat more fat than they realize and reducing fat intake may feel like a sacrifice. However, the results are more than worth the effort. Reducing cholesterol intake will help you not only lose weight but also keep it off. A healthy, low-cholesterol diet can also prevent heart disease and stroke, enabling you to enjoy good health without these and other debilitating health conditions.

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