Trying to get enough protein from food can be tricky. So many muscle-building foods are high in cholesterol, and we know what the verdict has been on that—Avoid it unless you want a heart attack. That advice may be flat out wrong, however. Here’s what Olympic coach Charles Poliquin has to say on the subject:
“Cholesterol is a type of fat that has been associated with heart disease for quite some time, with the media telling everyone that cholesterol will clog your arteries and put you at high risk for a stroke and eventually a heart attack. I find it interesting that there is a book called The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure, a title that suggests cholesterol is some type of disease that must be treated and cured.
“Although many health care professionals believe that cholesterol is a marker for heart disease, the preponderance of research shows that it is not. Even though low-density lipoprotein is called the “bad cholesterol,” it’s necessary for the body to remain healthy and to help detoxify itself. LDL takes toxins and moves them to the liver for removal; so if LDL levels are too low, the body might not be able to remove the toxins. The fact is we need cholesterol, and in 1999 a study that was published in Circulation magazine as an editorial that said that those with low cholesterol—under 160—had a higher propensity for depression, suicide, accidents and certain types of cancer and stroke.
“For a complete discussion of this subject, I recommend two new books that discuss the role of fat: What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease by Dr. Mark Houston (New York: Grand Central Life & Style, 2012) and The Paleo Answer by Dr. Loren Cordain (New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2012).”
I would add another great book, Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). It’s an informative read with lots of research and analysis as to why our current beliefs concerning cholesterol and obesity are wrong.