Question about Cholesterol

Hi @Susan_RD_101

I decided to start tracking my food and nutrients with cronometer and my fitness with fitbit. I am 50 yrs old with no risk factors, but had a stroke in March.

My cholesterol was good (3.8) prior to the stroke, but was told it now has to be under 2. I was put on statins but would prefer to do it naturally.

My question is about cholesterol. My understanding is that I need to limit my cholesterol to 200 g per day. Can I take in too little? I was at 49% yesterday. I am limiting my saturated fat to 13 g.

BTW hello from Ottawa too :smile:

Stroke survivor trying to have greater control over something that was out of my control


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    I'm not a medical or nutritional expert, my knowledge is quite limited.

    I am under the impression that recent medical literature indicates that dietary cholesterol intake does not have the relationship we long believed it did with levels of cholesterol in the blood. This is the study I see cited most frequently:


    "As the consumption of eggs leads to a high intake of cholesterol without necessarily resulting in high uptake levels of SFA (saturated fatty acids) and total fat, several groups have tried to elucidate the effect of cholesterol by investigating the relationship between the consumption of eggs and the development of CHD (coronary heart disease). Based on these studies, the association between dietary cholesterol and CHD risk is, if anything, minor in nature. This is consistent with the finding that an increase in dietary cholesterol intake results in only a minimal increase in the total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio. Taken together these studies suggest that the association between dietary cholesterol and CHD is small, as most subjects can effectively adapt to higher levels of cholesterol intake. Nevertheless, lowering dietary cholesterol content might reduce the risk of CHD considerably in a subgroup of individuals who are highly responsive to changes in cholesterol intake."

    I suspect the relationship between cholesterol intake and levels of cholesterol in the blood is complicated, and there are many variables that complicate how your dietary intake of cholesterol affects the cholesterol in your blood. But, it is very possible if not likely that dietary restrictions of cholesterol won't directly impact your blood cholesterol.

    One should always follow the advice of the medical professionals, but I suspect that regularly exercising while eating a healthy diet that consists of: vegetables, meats, grains, dairy, fruits, nuts and avoids processed foods or foods with added sugars contributes more to improving cardiovascular health than restricting cholesterol in your diet.

    Here is another resource: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/fats-and-cholesterol/cholesterol/

    Since your post is from some time ago, how is your cholesterol and health today and what changes did you make to your diet?

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    My understanding is that the liver can provide all the cholesterol that you need for most diets, so there is basically no risk of eating too little cholesterol. The balance of saturated to unsaturated fat in your diet can influence your blood LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, so avoiding too much saturated fat tends to be a key dietary method of controlling blood cholesterol levels.

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    @robartsd You're 100% correct!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
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