This one is a really hot topic: is too much cholesterol bad or not? Make your own opinion by reading my short post and some of the references (linked) if you are particularly interested in the topic.
Cholesterol is a lipid which is vital for us since it is an essential component of cell membranes, guaranteeing structural fluidity and integrity. Without cholesterol your body would not be able to produce more prominent molecules like:
- the bile acids, important for digestion of lipids
- androgens (testosteron), estrogens, progestogens (“sex hormones“)
- vitamin D responsible for calcium metabolism
- mineralocorticoids regulating electrolyte and fluid balance
- glucocorticoids regulating glucose metabolism
Cholesterol can be either taken up from animal sources (cholesterol from plants has not a good bioavailability) or your body produces it from other fats.
As every molecule, which plays such a central role in our body, cholesterol levels are thightly regulated. This means you can not influence your cholesterol blood levels by eating more or less of the foods which are high in cholesterol like eggs, meat and diary products. Your body will respond by taking up more or less from the dietary sources or producing more or less of it.
- The thight regulation is the reason why dietary cholesterol may not play such a crucial role as risk factor for cardiovasculary diseases even if we have been told so. I do not want to go too deep in this topic as it exceeds the intention of the post, so please refer to the linked publication.
- Nevertheless an intake of cholesterol of at least 7,2mg/kg bodyweight may be beneficial for your muscle growth and strength development.
Take home message
- If you are not vegan: EAT YOUR YOLKS, people! It’s good for your muscle gainz 😉 Other good sources are dairy and meat.
- If you are vegan: comsume more (saturated) fat so that the body can produce its own and you can profit from the gainz too 😉 . Good vegan sources include coconut oil and cocoa butter.
We’d love to hear your questions or thoughts on this topic: feel free to leave a comment! For more general enquiries, contact us here and we’ll get in touch with you ASAP. If you got intrigued and would like to have a personalized approach on nutrition and training, fill out the online coaching form. We are looking forward to work with you!
6 thoughts on “Cholesterol: Fact Or Fiction?”
We have no need for any dietary cholesterol because our body makes 100% of the cholesterol we need.
Dietary cholesterol only exists in animal products, which should not be consumed at all.
Dear Amanda, thank you for reading the article. You’re right: cholestrin is not essential. Nevertheless, research has shown that a higher cholestrin intake is favorable for muscle growth in strength trainees. As a vegan athlete you can make sure that your body synthetises enough to support your training by eating more saturated fats from plant sources, such as cocoa and coconut (quite enjoyable sources btw 😉 ).
Please be aware that on our website we respect all kind of nutrition philosophies. If you would like vegan-only content check Anastasia’s page http://www.sciencestrength.com .She’s an awesome vegan powerlifter and bodybuilder. Stay strong!
LikeLiked by 1 person