THE GREAT DEBATE: BLOOD CHOLESTEROL VS. DIETARY CHOLESTEROL

When you go to your doctor to measure your cholesterol levels, he’s actually measuring the amount of cholesterol circulating in your blood (your blood cholesterol level).

So if our bodies create and regulate cholesterol levels, what’s the big fuss about dietary cholesterol consumption?

It’s that extra 15%. If you naturally have high cholesterol, then that little extra can push you over the edge. This is why it is recommended that we limit our average daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams.

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by molecules called lipoproteins. These carrier molecules are important because cholesterol cannot dissolve in water (nor blood), so they need these little “taxi” proteins to move them from the liver to the cells and back again.

It is the oversimplification of the movement of these “taxi” proteins that have spawned names like “good” an “bad” cholesterol.