Cholesterol Confusion

I recently spotted an article in a magazine which stated that doctors have finally decided that eggs are good for us, and that the old adage ‘Go to work on an egg’ might actually be good advice. And why was this ever in doubt? The problem is that eggs are rich in cholesterol, along with shellfish and other exciting foods, and cholesterol is bad for us, isn’t it?

Oh dear, oh dear. When I was a biochemistry student in the 1960s, I had to write a lengthy essay on the difference between a cholesterol lowering diet and a low cholesterol diet, and to discuss the health importance of each.

 We knew then – 50 years ago – that a cholesterol lowering diet was one that was low in saturated fat (animal fat) and contained a higher proportion of polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oil), and that a low cholesterol diet was of no significance to health because our blood cholesterol level is not influenced by the cholesterol in our diet. So, it has taken 50 years for this to permeate down to some of the nutritional gurus, and many of us have denied ourselves healthy food because it might contain a smidgeon of cholesterol.

Of course, some more pernicious myths have been debunked over time. Any doctor my age would have been taught that margarine was healthier than butter. I am referring here to the margarine of the day, which still abounds in many parts of the world. Of course we now know that this trans fat is vastly inferior to butter and extremely dangerous to health. Do I hear any apologies? Has it been withdrawn from the market? Sadly, no.

Is it any wonder that the general public is confused and sceptical?


Filed under Hetn

2 responses to “Cholesterol Confusion

  1. I would love it if it was possible to post the blog on Facebook. I can talk and talk about health, nutrition and ePap but only being a community volunteer helping to feed children and the elderly in our impoverished townships, or those going through illness or post operative recovery, I need to be able to direct others to read the wise and sensible advice especially as regards to the myth that sugar is necessary (our poor eat anything sugared, coloured and high in fat and salt) or fortified maize meal and bread contains any nourishment. It is very frustrating when even our medical “experts” won’t listen. I have recently donated three months of ePap to a lady suffering an extreme case of Shingles – after one month she has more energy. Another friend, after a major operation and put on ePap, has gained 5 kgs in a month. Having lost 30 kgs, his wife thinks he is now okay. I say keep on for another month. He was never overweight in the first place. Oh goodie I see I can post to Facebook.

  2. Ysa

    Great post for Cholesterol Confusion. Very informative.

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