Today I think to cheat on my usual style of writing and experiment with a Q&A. I will be answering the questions and my invisible friend( that could be anybody who insists eating fats, increases cholesterol levels) will ask the questions! 🙂
Q: Oh, you look great! What’s your nutrition like?
A: I eat red meat, eggs, fish, butter, nuts, some vegetables and occasionally some fruits.
Q: Isn’t that dangerous for your health? With all the fat you eat, I bet you have high cholesterol and you are crying for a heart disease! I think you should rethink your diet and start eating more carbohydrates and cut on the fat!
A: First of all cholesterol is essential for life! Most of the cholesterol in our body is manufactured within our cells. Actually every cell can absorb cholesterol from the bloodstream or produce it itself. If you stopped eating cholesterol( or red meat, eggs, butter…), you could still have high cholesterol levels.
Q: How is that possible? I don’t get it!
A: The more cholesterol you eat, the less your body makes. The less cholesterol you eat, the more your body makes!
Q: But if that is the truth, why doctors always tell you to stop eating fatty foods and prescribe you cholesterol lowering drugs?
A: Ok, let me explain! If your cells produce all the cholesterol they need, that means that none will be absorbed from the bloodstream cholesterol. What that means is that blood cholesterol will have the tendency to rise. But if the cells get their cholesterol primarily from the bloodstream, blood cholesterol will be lower.
So what is the secret in lowering blood cholesterol? To make your cells take their cholesterol from the bloodstream and not produce it themselves! And how cholesterol lowering drugs work? They inhibit the enzymes that activate cholesterol production in the cell, thus making your cells use the cholesterol in the bloodstream.
Q: I see. That looks like good logic! Well, how could we make our cells produce less cholesterol, and take it from the bloodstream?
A: In order to answer this question you should know what regulates the cholesterol production in the cells. And there are two primarily hormones that do the work- insulin and glucagon. When your insulin levels are high, that means that your cells will produce even more cholesterol.
And glucagon helps inhibit the enzyme that stimulates the production of cholesterol within the cells and thus forcing them to get cholesterol from blood stream.
The conclusion is higher insulin, means higher blood cholesterol levels.
Higher glucagon, means lower blood cholesterol levels.
Q: I am totally perplexed! How insulin enhances cell production of cholesterol?
A: Cholesterol is made inside our cells from certain raw materials, and is instructed to be made by certain signaling molecules. The raw material for cholesterol production our cells is a 2-carbon molecule (Acetyl-CoA).
Carbohydrates are built from a unit called a monosaccharide. A monosaccharide usually provides 6 carbons. That means you can get a lot of material for the production of cholesterol from the breakdown of carbs.
As you know insulin is responsible for the production of fats and as you know cholesterol is a type of fat. So more raw material, plus higher insulin, equals more cholesterol.
Q: Ok, I feel so mislead. What does that mean? Does it mean that my diet, consisting of a lot of “healthy” carbs and mostly no fats is actually harming my health?
A: Great. I am glad you said it, because I felt somehow awkward being so harsh on you!
You are totally right. Carbs rise insulin levels and provide the raw material for cholesterol production in the cells. That means the more carbs you eat, the more your cells will rely on producing their own cholesterol, and the higher your blood cholesterol is gonna be!
So if you wanna be in good health, you should cut on the carbs, and increase your fat intake. Don’t get me wrong. Cutting on the carbs, doesn’t mean eating just proteins.
Remember that proteins without the fat, could be bad for you! So eat your red meat, your eggs with the yolk and don’t cut the fats out of your meat! And because you still need some carbs in order for your body to function properly, make sure you eat enough vegetables and occasionally eat some fruits, mostly berries!
Follow that for a couple months, and then come share with me how is your cholesterol!
Q: Thank you so much for opening my eyes! That was really helpful and logical!
What’s your diet like? Do you rely mainly on carbs or fats? How do you feel and what are your cholesterol levels?
P.S. If you liked this article, please share it with your friends! I’d greatly appreciate it! 🙂
Here is a video explaining higher insuin,leptin resistance and obesity!