The Difference Between HDL and LDL Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol, lowdensity lipids (LDL) and high-density lipids (HDL). The LDL's are the baddies. It appears that the LDL's are larger in size and this seems to prevent them from passing easily through our arteries.
Cholesterol is not all bad, the truth being cholesterol is a very useful fat. It helps in the formation of vitamin D and is the foundation for various hormones. Cholesterol in our skin protects us from absorbing many of the dangerous chemicals from the polluted environment we live in.
It is a potent anti-oxidant and has even been linked to protecting the body from cancer-causing free radicals. Don't get this wrong, there is no denying that cholesterol is most definitely associated with cardiovascular heart disease.
Our bodies synthesize cholesterol in the liver and we naturally increase or decrease the production of cholesterol depending on how much we consume in our diet. This is where the cholesterol problem arises.
The Omega-3 Connection
What we need to do is control the intake of lowdensity
lipids while still providing our bodies with enough of the high-density
lipids to function properly.
Dr Paul Nestel in 1986 reported a study where subjects consumed large quantities of egg yolk and high in LDL fats. Yet the subjects showed no change in their cholesterol levels if their diet was supplemented with fish oil.
Eskimos Survive By Excessive Fish-Eating
Eskimos or Intuits (people who eat raw meat) are relatively free of heart disease, diseases of immune system, asthma, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. In the past, it was thought that this was genetic until it was discovered that the Danes, who are of the same Mongolian race as the Eskimos have 10 times the risk of dying from heart disease.
Why is this so? It is because of their eating habits, although they both have diets high in fat, it is the type of fat that seems to make the difference, when you first study the diet of the Eskimo, you put on weight just thinking about it. It is very high in animal fat and cholesterol with very few vegetables or grains at all. It is the excessive amount of fish, which the Eskimos consume that counteracts the detrimental effect of the rest of their diet.
Heart Disease Protection From The Deep!
Fish, any kind of fish, but especially cold deep sea fish like Sardines, Sea Mullet, Red Salmon, Mackerel, and Trevally contain the special type of fatty acid called Omega-3. Clinical recommendations and the Heart Foundation clearly state that the very long chain polyunsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid should be included in our daily diets. Small amounts of this fatty acid seem to help in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Added: 11 March 2002