There is one number apparently more than others which appears to be treated as most important when measuring our level of health – our cholesterol number. I often hear comments like “I am healthy because I have no or low cholesterol”. I find it is often used as an excuse to avoid changing unhealthy habits. People making these comments are often quite overweight or have other health problems but think they are healthy because of their cholesterol number!

I am healthy – the Doctor told me I don’t have cholesterol!

I recently saw a BBC documentary where a woman who was morbidly obese (over 150kg) said “I’m OK, my health has not been affected by my weight – my cholesterol is normal”.  Therefore, according to her, she didn’t need to do anything! This rang alarm bells for me – how many people believe it?

Cholesterol is essential in the body, it makes hormones, insulates neurons, is part of the structure of every cell in the body, produces bile to digest fats, helps metabolise important fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D. (Read my previous posts about cholesterol for more information).

There are two main types of cholesterol that can cause you problems, oxidised cholesterol and certain types of LDLs.

Your weight, waist size, diet, blood sugar levels and levels of inflammation all play a big factor in whether or not you have these types of damaging cholesterol. What also matters is how you feel, are you energised, happy or tired, grumpy and “not quite right”? Don’t let a number stop you from listening to your body!

Diets high in carbohydrates (confectionary, refined foods and grains eg. sweets, crackers, bread, pasta) lead to inflammation. It is important to eat a diet with adequate protein, fat and lots of colourful vegetables for good health. Don’t avoid fat and don’t avoid eggs!

For more information or personalised advice on a healthy diet contact us on (02) 47 222 111 at the Informed Health Nutritional Wellbeing Centre or www.informedhealth.com.au.