DentalCare Logo

Food for Thought: The Relationship Between Oral Health and Nutrition

Course Number: 583

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is found in every cell in your body and is mostly manufactured by the body itself. Dietary sources, which have little effect on overall cholesterol numbers, are found in eggs, shellfish, butter, fatty meats, full fat dairy and oils. Today, the overall lipid profile is measured for risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. The ratio of HDL/LDL and triglycerides circulating in the blood stream is important, along with factors such as inactivity, smoking, and diabetes. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol to the heart walls and narrows or clogs the artery. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) removes cholesterol from the vessel walls and takes it back to the liver, where it is excreted. The table below are the recommended cholesterol guidelines for adults:24

Recommended Cholesterol Guidelines for Adults

Figure 8. Recommended Cholesterol Guidelines for Adults.24

Coconut Oil; Good or Bad?

Even though coconut oil is saturated, studies show it may have a positive effect on raising HDL (good) cholesterol. Although it is a medium-chain triglyceride, which the body handles differently than a long-chain triglyceride like vegetable oil, dairy, and fatty meats, conflicting research also point to coconut oil having a neutral impact on heart health, raising both HDL and LDL levels. You should aim to receive most of your fat from unsaturated sources like olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds.1