- Cholesterol is important for the manufacture of bile acids, for synthesizing a number of critical hormones, including the adrenal gland hormones cortisol and aldosterone, and for producing the sex hormones testosterone, progesterone and estrogen, and their derivatives.
Cholesterol is necessary to produce the natural hormone estrogen which helps to block xenoestrogens from accumulating in the body.
Hormones influence many bodily functions including metabolism, blood sugar balance, blood pressure, energy levels, kidney function, sleep patterns, aging, and appetite. Cholesterol builds brain and nerve tissue, maintains neurotransmitter levels and brain function, and nourishes the immune system.
Hormone imbalances are common with toxin overload and nutrient deficiencies.
Studies show that vegans have about 35% lower blood cholesterol levels than omnivores. Total fat intake, especially trans-fat, plays a larger role in blood cholesterol than intake of cholesterol itself.
The body obtains cholesterol through two methods: the liver produces about 75% of the cholesterol, and our diet accounts for 25%. Vitamin D-rich foods are also rich in cholesterol. So, low-cholesterol diets are inherently deficient in vitamin D. The second richest food source of vitamin D is lard.
Check out Cholesterol-And-Health.Com which is dedicated to America's most demonized nutrient. It has not been demonstrated to be healthier to have very low cholesterol.
Benefits of Cholesterol - There is actually increased mortality with the lowest cholesterol levels. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine in 2006 noted that low HDL cholesterol levels were predictive of adrenal failure. Pushing cholesterol lower than 130 has limited the production of important hormones such as cortisol.
Foods highest in cholesterol are egg yolks, caviar (fish roe), pâté (foie gras), butter, shrimp, oil packed fish, cheese, ground meats and sausage, lamb, duck, shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels), veal, beef, pork and turkey.
I intentionally include multiple cholesterol-rich food sources every day. My goal is to eat at least 2-4 food sources of the critical nutrient cholesterol, daily.