Essential to good health, especially women’s wellness, cholesterol should not be something that is feared and revered when eating a nutritious diet. It is a naturally occurring product found in the body which is made by the liver. It is vital to normal cell function and is the parent molecule for such major hormones as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. It is critical to the immune system and the brain. Even if you did not consume any cholesterol at all, you would still find it present in your body. Your diet is actually secondary when it comes to looking at cholesterol levels, but this is often ignored by doctors.
On any given day, we have between 1,100 and 1,700 milligrams of cholesterol in our body. 25% of that comes from our diet, and 75% is produced inside of our bodies by the liver. Much of the cholesterol that’s found in food can’t be absorbed by our bodies, and most of the cholesterol in our gut was first synthesized in body cells and ended up in the gut via the liver and gall bladder. The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.
Those of you who have been getting my weekly fit tips over the years know that every once in a while, we play Myth Busters. It’s about separating fact from fiction related to certain things that we’ve read or heard about fitness. With so many sources offering advice on health, it’s hard to know valuable advice from urban legend. Here are four common fitness myths… (click on sound bar above to listen)
Myth #1: Cardio is best to burn fat
While cardio burns more calories than resistance training during your workout, lifting weights burns more fat overall. In a study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, women who did a strength workout burned more calories in the 24 hours afterward than those who skipped the weights. The more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.