We hear it time and time again. We need to keep our cholesterol levels down.
But is low cholesterol a good thing?
Despite the hype that it’s a bad thing, it’s actually needed for:
-optimal brain function
-the synthesis of vitamin D
-the formation or structural component of every cell membrane in our body
-the production of steroid (sex and stress) hormones
Sex hormones include estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Low progesterone can elevate feelings of anxiety (😳🤯) whilst another hormone, DHEA, acts as a precursor to these hormones, and also relies on cholesterol to function.
It’s pretty crazy to think that as recently as the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s we were led to believe that fat was bad for us. But this whole fat-is-bad-for-us theory was actually based on very biased research by the now discredited-researcher, Ancel Keys, as he handpicked data to prove his hypothesis that diets rich in fat raised cholesterol and caused heart disease.
The thing is, our body needs fat and cholesterol to help facilitate a number of important physiological processes in the body such as in the manufacture of sex hormones which are critical not only for fertility, but for energy as well.
Ahh energy. Something that seems to vanish soon after commencing shift work as I’m sure you can relate!
There are also fats that are referred to as “essential” fats, meaning they are essential that we consume every day because the human body cannot create these fats from other substances inside ourselves, or other substances that we might consume. So we must consume these essential fats every day.