Cholesterol – Facts and Myths

Many people cringe when “cholesterol” is mentioned as it is associated with unpleasant topics such as obesity and disease. But what actually is cholesterol and is it really as harmful as many fear? Who is affected by high cholesterol levels and is it enough to abstain from cholesterol-containing foods in order to protect oneself? You will find answers to all these questions in this short summary on cholesterol.

What is cholesterol and what does “LDL” and “HDL” mean?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance and can be found in all animal foods. Like fat, it does not dissolve in water and must therefore bind to certain proteins (lipoprotein) in order to be transported in the body via the blood (90% of which consists of water) to the various organs.
The most important and best known lipoproteins in this context are HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein).

LDL supplies the organs and tissues with cholesterol. Excess LDL cholesterol can bind with white blood cells and deposit on the inner walls, usually the arteries, of blood vessels, leading to arteriosclerosis. If these deposits thicken over time, the blood vessels become increasingly inelastic and constrict. In the worst case, this results in complete vascular occlusion, which can trigger coronary heart disease, stroke or heart attack. This is why there is often talk of “bad” or “evil” cholesterol.

HDL cholesterol has the property of binding excess LDL cholesterol from the blood and transporting it back to the liver, which is why it is also called “good” cholesterol.

Myth 1 Cholesterol is fundamentally harmful

WRONG

Cholesterol is not fundamentally harmful, in fact, it is essential to life. Cholesterol is a very important component of the human body and performs a variety of tasks in the organism. It is involved . . .

  • . . . in the construction of cell walls and tissues
  • . . . in the formation of vitamin D
  • . . . in the formation of bile acids for fat digestion
  • . . . in the production of various hormones (cortisone, estrogen, testosterone)

Myth 2 Only very overweight people have high cholesterol levels

WRONG

A high cholesterol level is not visible from the outside and does not necessarily depend on body weight. Most sufferers have no symptoms and do not notice their high cholesterol levels, so the disease often goes undetected and untreated. Both obese and normal-weight people may be affected by an increased level of LDL cholesterol.
In addition to body weight, other risk factors such as an unhealthy lifestyle with increased tobacco and alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor nutrition, as well as diseases such as high blood pressure or diabetes play a major role.
In addition, there is also a genetically-related metabolic disease known as familial hypercholesterolemia, in which the affected people often have a strongly elevated LDL cholesterol level already at a young age, which greatly increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. So even young people can have a heart attack at a very early age.

Myth 3 Eggs and cholesterol-containing foods are bad for cholesterol levels

WRONG

About two-thirds of the body’s cholesterol is produced in the liver by the body itself. Only one third is ingested through food, of which only about half is actually absorbed by the body.
In healthy people, dietary cholesterol intake has little effect on cholesterol levels because the body can adjust its own production of cholesterol accordingly. Thus, if there is a higher supply of dietary cholesterol, the body’s own production is inhibited.
However, about 20-25% of the population are unable to do so, so that no adjustment of the body’s own cholesterol production takes place, resulting in elevated cholesterol levels in the blood.
This adaptation mechanism can also fail to occur in the case of highly unbalanced nutrition with a high proportion of cholesterol, a lot of saturated fats, few long-chain carbohydrates, such as those found in fruit and highly processed foods, and little fiber. Therefore, it is much more important to develop a healthy and balanced nutrition pattern than to avoid eggs or other cholesterol-containing foods in general. Dietary fats with poor fat quality are considered a major health risk – especially in terms of elevated cholesterol levels.
Saturated fatty acids, such as those found in butter, lard, cream, sausages, meat and cheese, increase cholesterol levels more than the cholesterol in food.Trans fatty acids, which are mainly found in industrially produced foods such as fried foods, pastries, confectionery and convenience foods, also have a negative effect on cholesterol levels, as they increase the “bad” LDL cholesterol and lower the “good” HDL cholesterol.

Nutrition tips:

In order to control cholesterol levels through nutrition, the most suitable diet is one that uses a lot of

  • fiber-rich foods such as oats, pulses, apples and vegetables and that inhibits cholesterol intake.
  • vegetable oils with high omega-3 fatty acid content such as linseed oil, walnut oil and hemp oil and thus supports the cardiovascular system. However, nuts and seeds are also an ideal supplement.
  • green tea. It is rich in cell-protecting antioxidants, but also saponins, which can bind cholesterol and inhibit fat absorption from food.

Conclusion:

With the Metabolic Balance nutrition concept and the individual selection of foods, the basis for a healthy cholesterol level is laid. In addition,   

  • exercise in everyday life
  • limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption and
  • reducing stress

can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.

Apple Tiramisu

Today we have a twist on an Italian classic. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:
1 serving of cottage cheese
2 slices of rye crispbread
1 apple
1 cup of espresso
Cinnamon
Cocoa powder
Mineral water
Vanilla

Preparation: 
Place the crispbread on a plate and add soak lightly with the espresso. Wash and grate the apple, spread half on top of the crispbread and sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix the cottage cheese with the vanilla and water and spread half of it on top of the crispbread. Place the second slice of crispbread on top and soak lightly with the espresso again. Top with the other half of the grated apple and finally spread the rest of the cottage cheese on top. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, the longer the better. Sprinkle with cocoa powder before serving and then enjoy.

Tip: If there is no cottage cheese on your plan, you can swap this with yogurt. The apple can be replaced with another grated fruit or even fruit puree.

An Apple A Day

At Metabolic Balance we recommend eating an apple every day. With more than thirty minerals, trace elements, vitamins as well as numerous fibers and secondary plant substances, the apple is an absolute power fruit. Apples not only supply the body with important substances but they also bind released toxins and have lower uric acid. So there is some truth to the saying “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away”! But please use apple varieties like Boskoop or Cox Orange. The new overbred varieties are not half as good for the body as the old ones and can also cause more allergies.

How to Sprout

Sprouts are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and require almost no space or equipment. In addition to being cheap and tasty, sprouts are one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Many types of sprouts are high in antioxidants, vitamins C, A, B, and contain minerals such as copper, zinc, and manganese. Sprouts can be used in many dishes such as soups, smoothies, and even yogurt!

To get started you will need a large mason jar, a mix of sprouting seeds (easily found on Amazon), a rubber band, and a piece of cheese cloth. Then follow the steps below!

1. Take 3 tablespoons of seeds and add them to the mason jar. Cover the seeds with 2-3 cups of water and allow to soak for 6-12 hours.
2. With the cheesecloth covering the opening of the jar (secured with a rubber band), pour out the water. The cheesecloth should prevent any seeds from escaping the jar.
3. Rinse the seeds thoroughly 2-3 times with water and then drain the water thoroughly. Roll the jar to distribute the seeds.
4. Place the jar at an angle (cheesecloth side facing down to allow excess water to drain) in a bowl, with the seeds distributed throughout the jar. Place in a dark place.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 every 12 hours until little sprouts start to form.
6. Once most of the seeds have sprouted, place the jar in sunlight until the sprouts gain some color.
7. Then store in the fridge until you’re ready to use.

Credit: Institute for Integrative Nutrition


Long Term Change

Many consider dietary changes to be a matter of self-discipline. We at Metabolic Balance know that this “self-discipline” is only an issue at the beginning of the new nutrition. By eating according to our nutrition plan, most people quickly experience a better quality of life and feel more comfortable in their body. Thus, our clients reach feelings that they literally become addicted to. As a consequence, they stick to the plan and without any effort to the new eating behavior. This is cool, isn’t it?
To learn more about Metabolic Balance and how it can change your life visit our website!

Sprout Filled Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is a unique take on traditional cabbage rolls but is nutritious and delicious. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Ingredients:
1 portion of red cabbage
1 portion of sprouts
1/5 cup (125 mL) vegetable stock
1 clove of garlic
Fresh ginger
Chili powder
Salt and pepper

Preparation:
Blanch the cabbage leaves briefly in boiling salted water and cool in ice-cold water (to preserve the color). Peel the ginger, peel the garlic and chop both into small pieces. Heat a pan with some water, cook the garlic and ginger, for about 5 minutes. Add the sprouts and simmer for another 2 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and a little chili powder. Spread sprouts on cabbage leaves. Fold the long sides of the leaves over the filling and roll up the leaves from the narrow side. Cook the cabbage rolls on all sides in a hot pan, add in the vegetable stock and cook with the lid closed for about 10 to 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Metabolic Balance Tips

Weight usually regulates itself with a Metabolic Balance nutrition plan. For those of you who don’t have a plan yet, we have listed the most important Metabolic Balance tips below – so you can try out whether a life according to plan would “taste” good to you: 

1. Eat three meals a day – no snacks and in-between meals . 
2. Cook your own food – processed foods are unhealthy and don’t taste nearly as good as homemade. 
3. Add variety to your plate with lots of different vegetables and spices. 
4. Drink plenty of water.
5. Start each meal with the protein component of the dish – this will activate the satiety hormone glucagon right at the beginning of the meal and you won’t eat too much. 
6. Counteract lows with exercise. If possible, go for a walk once a day and enjoy the beginning of spring. This is good for body and soul!

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is available all year round but was long known as a winter vegetable. It is usually eaten as a classic side dish to game, roast duck and goose – but it is also often used in more modern creations. Its red color is due to a pigment called anthocyanin which is also present in red berries and red wine and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. The anti-cancer and cholesterol-lowering effect of this flavonoid has also been scientifically proven. Red cabbage is very rich in vitamins and fiber and is therefore an important source of nutrients. It contains the vitamins C, B6, and E and is deservedly called a “domestic superfood”.

Free Info Webinar

Have you found yourself wondering “why is my health like this”? “I just don’t feel like me anymore.” “Why can’t I get well?” “My body used to work but now I just don’t get what’s going on!” Food and lifestyle choices are now fully recognized as being intimately linked to everyday health. Join our free Info Webinar to learn how our Metabolic Balance Program resets your metabolism and manages your weight and well-being long-term without pills, shakes, injections or processed foods.

Join us on March 15, 2021 at 4:30 pm ET / 1:30 pm PT! Click the link below to register.
https://www.metabolic-balance.us/Information-Event

Photo: Unsplash

Feel Good!

Would you like to increase your quality of life, lose unhealthy weight, feel good and live healthier?

We can help you reset your body and restart your metabolism – Metabolic Balance supports and accompanies you on your way of change and helps you to achieve your health and life goals.