The 9 Irrefutable Benefits of Cholesterol in the Diet

by Sarah healthy fatsComments: 30

 

benefits of cholesterol

It was gratifying to see Time magazine recently set the record straight and admit it was wrong by finally pronouncing on its cover what some of us have known for many years: that saturated fats like butter containing natural cholesterol are in fact beneficial to health and not the dietary demons they’ve been portrayed for the past 5+ decades.

While it was great to see butter and the benefits of cholesterol finally get their day in the sun, don’t expect to see the lowfat/nonfat dairy and butter substitutes disappear overnight from the dairy aisle at your local supermarket. Changing the thought process of several generations duped into thinking saturated fat and cholesterol are bad takes years if not a decade or more.

If you take the initiative to research on your own, though, no worries. You are far ahead of the curve and will avoid harm from the standard nutritional nonsense still being taught despite even conventional sources like Time magazine which now recognize the benefits of cholesterol and saturated fats.

Are you new to the concept that cholesterol is beneficial to health and that saturated fat sources like butter, coconut oil, liver and eggs should play a prominent role in a healthy, traditionally oriented diet?

If so, the list below of the benefits of cholesterol should help clarify the importance of this nutrient’s role in the body. The list summarizes the nine critical body functions that either don’t work at all or work very poorly without cholesterol.

Let’s make it clear, however, that this list is talking about cholesterol in an unprocessed state. Oxidized cholesterol that is found in processed foods is to be avoided.  It is this damaged cholesterol that contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis, not the natural cholesterol in whole foods.

And guess what?  Oxidized cholesterol in the form of milk powder is exactly what food manufacturers add to skim milk to give it body. Milk powder is created by forcing liquid milk through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air (source). Skim milk is not the health food portrayed by conventional dietary dogma.

So eat your cholesterol in the form of whole, not processed foods and you will be doing your body good by enjoying all the biological benefits of cholesterol.

The 9 Benefits of Cholesterol in the Diet

Source: Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon Morell

  1. Cholesterol is vital for balanced hormones and the manufacture of those that deal with the stress of everyday living.  These hormones also are protective against heart disease and cancer.

  2. Cholesterol is needed by the body to make all the sex hormones including andogen, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA.

  3. Cholesterol is necessary for the body to properly use Vitamin D, which is critical for all body systems including the bones, nerves, proper growth, mineral metabolism, muscle tone, insulin production, fertility, and strong immunity.

  4. Bile salts made by the liver require cholesterol. Bile is critical to the digestive process and absorption of dietary fats.

  5. Cholesterol functions as a powerful antioxidant in the body and is protective of free radical damage to tissues.

  6. Cholesterol is vital for proper functioning of the brain. Cholesterol is used by serotonin receptors .. serotonin is the body’s natural “feel good” chemical.  No wonder low cholesterol levels have been associated with aggressive and violent tendencies, depression and suicide.

  7. Breastmilk is ideally rich in cholesterol and contains a special enzyme for the baby to properly utilize it. Babies and children need cholesterol for proper growth and development of the brain, nervous system, and immune function.

  8. Cholesterol is necessary for proper functioning of the intestines and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal wall.  Low cholesterol diets can lead to leaky gut syndrome and other digestive problems.

  9. Cholesterol is critical to repair of damaged cells. This is why cholesterol levels naturally rise as we age and are beneficial to the elderly.  Women with the highest cholesterol actually live the longest!  Dr. Meyer Texon MD, a respected pathologist practicing at New York University Medical Center, observes that accusing saturated fat and cholesterol for hardening of the arteries is like accusing white blood cells of causing infection, rather than helping the immune system address it.

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

 

Sources and More Information

Why Skim Milk Will Make You Fat and Give You Heart Disease

Cholesterol Myths to Wise Up About

The Untold Story of Butter

What Oxidizes the Cholesterol in Eggs?

Cardiologist Speaks Out Against Lowfat Diet

The High Risks of Low Cholesterol

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