Cholesterol: 6 myths that need to be busted

Dr. Priyanka Marakini

August 4, 2023

The human body contains wax-like substances called cholesterol. They are found in blood cells throughout the body. The liver produces this substance that plays a major role in digestion. However, having too much of it in the blood is detrimental for health as it blocks the arteries in the body and leads to peripheral artery disease, which might prove fatal if not attended to.

6 Cholesterol myths busted!

Such is the negative perception about cholesterol that as soon as we hear it, we start thinking about heart disease and stroke. Though it is true that high levels are an unwelcome situation as it increases the risk of coronary heart disease, there is a lot of information regarding this wax-like substance that just need not be true.

It is genetic and impossible to avoid

While genetics may have a significant role to play in one’s high cholesterol levels, you can avoid it. Incorporating a healthy diet and lifestyle choices help significantly in managing it. If your family has a history of the medical condition, it is advisable to take preventive steps to keep it under control.

Taking medication is the only way to manage it

Although most doctors would prescribe medicines to lower cholesterol levels, it is not the only way to bring them under control. A healthy diet and regular physical activity go a long way in maintaining it. These lifestyle changes can work wonders with your high cholesterol levels and help in lowering them.

Low cholesterol foods

It is always bad

It is certainly not true that all types of cholesterol are bad. Certain levels of it are, in fact, essential for various body functions. Even when it comes to heart ailments, it is not exactly cholesterol which is responsible. Instead, it is the Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) which are responsible for Atherosclerosis. LDL and HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) carry it through the bloodstream.

You can discontinue your medication if Cholesterol levels have gone down

This is one practice that seriously needs to be addressed. People usually tend to discontinue their medicines once their cholesterol levels go down. This is not the right approach as these levels are likely to go up again and expose you to higher risks of heart ailments. There is no proper cure for the condition. Medication and a healthy lifestyle is the only way to manage it.

Kids can not suffer from High Cholesterol

People have always believed this condition to be a problem that affects middle-aged adults only. Sadly, this is not true anymore. With the increasing consumption of fatty and refined foods and the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of the youth, the number of youngsters suffering from the condition has gone up. This makes them vulnerable to heart ailments over time. It is recommended that obese kids or ones with a family history of this condition get their blood tests done immediately. They also must monitor it regularly.

Girl eating burger

The food we consume contains it

It is true that the food we consume is one of the contributing factors towards high cholesterol levels. However, food is not the most significant contributor to it. In reality, natural processes produce most of the cholesterol in our body.

While high cholesterol may be an unwelcome situation, it can be easily managed with changes to your daily routine. Ideally, you should look to control it by making changes to your diet and increasing your activity levels. If these changes don’t help, then you can look towards medication. That said, the best way to keep your cholesterol levels under control is through diet. Speak to a dietitian today, and understand how you can keep it under control.

About the Author

The holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Naturopathy and Yogic Sciences, Dr. Priyanka has more than 7 years of experience in the field of health and wellness. Currently serving as a Sr. Nutritionist at HealthifyMe, she specializes in Weight Management, Lifestyle Modifications, and PCOS, Diabetes, and Cholesterol Management. In addition to being a Nutritionist, Dr. Priyanka is also a Fitness Enthusiast and a certified Zumba instructor. A strong believer in eating healthy, she is certain that the right kind of motivation can help an individual work wonders in their lives.

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