The National Day to Combat Cholesterol was created to raise awareness and prevent cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of mortality in Brazil according to the Ministry of Health. Although it is often considered a villain, cholesterol is actually a primordial substance for the functioning of our body.
Many myths and taboos surround this lipid, and there is still a lot of misinformation when it comes to keeping the rate under control in the body. This contributes to the fact that fancy recipes and tricks to keep fat levels low are replicated without any criteria or scientific basis.
Nutritionist Julia Canabarro, specialist in clinical sports nutrition, takes advantage of the National Day to Combat Cholesterol to clarify, once and for all, the main myths about lipids. Check out:
What is cholesterol?
First, the specialist explains that cholesterol is a set of fats responsible for the synthesis of some hormones and for the construction of the membrane that surrounds the body’s cells. It is divided into two groups: HDL, popularly called good and LDL, known as bad.
Despite the nomenclatures, the two groups are allies and work together in the proper functioning of the organism, as Julia explains. The danger, however, lies in the imbalance between them, especially when there is an excess of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
“It is only through food that I acquire cholesterol”
Myth. The human body is responsible for about 70% of the cholesterol in the body, only the other 30% comes from food. “A good diet, focused on fresh foods such as vegetables and fruits, combined with a physical exercise routine, helps to keep cholesterol levels under control”, emphasizes the professional.
“A zero carb diet helps keep cholesterol low”
Myth. “A balanced diet is made up of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. When we remove one of these elements, we tend to compensate for another. gives to proteins and fats that have a higher concentration of cholesterol”, explains the nutritionist.
“Egg is the main source of cholesterol”
Myth. “For a long time, the egg was seen as a villain within the diets, however, this food is a great source of protein and several other nutrients. However, this does not mean that excess consumption is allowed”, says Julia.
“Lemon water helps keep cholesterol balanced”
Myth. According to the nutritionist, there is no scientific proof that lemon water helps control cholesterol levels in the body. However, drinking is not harmful, on the contrary. “Although it does not help in this aspect, the drink is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C”, highlights the specialist.
“Thin people don’t have cholesterol problems”
Myth. The professional explains that the largest portion of cholesterol in our bodies is produced by the body. Thus, genetics is the main cause of irregularities in the levels of fat in the body, even if the individual has a weight considered adequate. However, she warns that obesity is a factor that increases the chances of having high cholesterol.
In any case, it is always important to pay attention to food. “Just as we have foods rich in LDL, there are also those rich in HDL, as is the case with oilseeds, for example, such as walnuts and chestnuts”, he recommends.
However, you need to be careful about the portion consumed: even though they are rich in good fat, oilseeds should be consumed in moderation. In addition to the diet, following up with a nutritionist and regular exams with the scope of a cardiologist are the keys to keeping your health up to date, as the nutritionist reinforces.
Source: Julia Canabarro, nutritionist at nutrition startup Dietbox.
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