Eating fatty foods raises cholesterol to dangerous levels, endangering cardiovascular health, right? Not necessarily. Let’s take this step by step:
This is where it gets complicated. The amount of cholesterol in your diet influences your cholesterol levels somewhat, but so does your genetic predisposition and, most importantly, the mix of other nutrients you eat. Eating too many carbohydrates and the wrong kind has been shown to increase your triglycerides (another lipid) and your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and decrease your HDL (“good) cholesterol.
Bottom line: give your body the right combination of protein, fat and carbohydrate and it will safely process cholesterol, as evidenced by a body of research that shows the positive impact on cholesterol in individuals who follow the Atkins Diet or a comparable low-carbohydrate approach.