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Cholesterol Myths

Debunking the Myths, Misunderstandings and Misinformation About Cholesterol

  • High cholesterol foods are the biggest reason for high serum cholesterol. While foods high in cholesterol can and do raise your cholesterol and contribute to heart disease, foods high in saturated fats (e.g. full-fat dairy products and red meat) actually have the greater impact on increasing LDL.
  • Olive oil can protect against heart disease. Most vegetable oils are healthier than butter and lard.  However, even "healthy" vegetable oils have a high trans fat content, and can increase cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • A high-fiber diet can reduce cholesterol.  Only soluble fiber actually helps lower cholesterol.
  • Drink two glasses of red wine per day to lower your risk of heart disease.  While some studies have shown that a moderate amount of alcohol may increase HDL, alcohol is high in calories, may increase triglycerides, may impair liver function, and may increase blood pressure.
  • Increasing your vitamins-particularly antioxidants (Vit. C and E)--can reduce your cholesterol.  False.
  • If your cholesterol is high, you'll feel terrible. There are NO symptoms of elevated cholesterol.
  • If a food product label says "No Cholesterol" then it is a heart healthy food. Not true. Even though the product may not contain cholesterol, it may be high in saturated fats and trans fats.

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Created: 10/17/2000  -  Donnica Moore, M.D.

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