10 Myths About Dietary Fat and Cholesterol

Medically Reviewed on 9/22/2022
10 Myths About Dietary Fat and Cholesterol
Many misconceptions exist concerning dietary fat and cholesterol.

It is not unusual to hear extremely contradictory facts about nutritional data. There are several myths concerning fat and cholesterol.

Some believe that consuming fatty meals causes weight gain, whereas others believe that cholesterol is the cause of all heart disease. However, a recent study has reported that both fats and cholesterol are not entirely detrimental to you.

Fats and cholesterol are essential components of a healthy diet. Do not allow misinformation about fat and cholesterol to keep you from eating these vital nutrients. Fat and cholesterol are not antagonistic; they are necessary for health, so consume them in moderation.

To reduce your cholesterol, make lifestyle changes, such as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. If you have high cholesterol, see your doctor about treatment options.

Being overweight, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol can contribute to elevated cholesterol. So, if you are worried about your cholesterol levels, be sure to look after your entire health.

10 myths about fat and cholesterol

Here are the top 10 most common misinformation, myths, and misconceptions concerning dietary fat and cholesterol:

  1. Fat causes weight gain:
    • Although consuming an excessive number of macronutrients, especially fat, causes weight gain, high-fat foods, when consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, do not cause weight gain.
    • However, consuming high-fat foods can help you lose weight and keep you content between meals.
    • Several studies have reported that consuming high-fat foods, such as eggs, avocados, almonds, and full-fat dairy, can promote weight reduction and make you feel fuller for longer.
    • Furthermore, studies have suggested that high-fat diets, such as ketogenic and low-carb and high-fat diets, increase weight reduction.
    • Eating high-fat, highly processed meals, such as fast food, sweet baked goods, and fried foods can increase your risk of weight gain.
  2. Cholesterol-rich foods are bad for your health:
    • Eggs, which are among the healthiest foods, are probably the worst example of this.
    • Eggs contain a lot of cholesterol and were thought to induce heart disease.
    • However, studies suggest that dietary cholesterol does not elevate harmful cholesterol levels in the blood.
    • Eggs enhance high-density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol without increasing the risk of heart disease.
    • Eggs are high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are beneficial for the eyes and brain.
    • The yolk contains all the nutrients, whereas the white is only protein.
    • Advising people to avoid egg yolks could be the most absurd dietary advice in history.
  3. Foods labeled cholesterol free are nutritious:
    • Any food that does not include meat or high-fat dairy might be labeled as “cholesterol-free.”
    • Food businesses frequently use popular nutrition phrases to capture your attention and boost product usage.
    • This does not mean that highly processed, nutrient-deficient foods are now considered healthy.
    • This claim could be seen in everything from potato chips to cream-filled chocolate sandwiches and cookies.
    • Rather than looking for packaging claims, strive to integrate a wide range of colors and plants into your dishes, along with some lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains.
  4. Women need not worry about heart diseases:
    • High cholesterol levels are identical in men and women. Therefore, everyone should be concerned about heart disease.
    • Heart disease is the leading cause of mortality in American women, accounting for one in every five fatalities.
    • Heart disease might manifest differently in women, so be aware of the warning signals.
  5. Consuming high cholesterol food raises cholesterol levels:
    • The amount and kind of fat you consume have a greater influence on your cholesterol levels.
    • Consuming a lot of saturated and trans fats raises your cholesterol.
    • This is confusing because many high-cholesterol diets contain beneficial saturated fats.
    • If you are aiming to decrease your cholesterol, limit your daily saturated fat intake to no more than six percent of your total calories.
  6. You should avoid all fatty foods:
    • Fatty foods, such as avocados and almonds, are beneficial to your health.
    • This is due to the presence of unsaturated fats, which can help reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels.
    • Fatty seafood, such as salmon and tuna, are beneficial to your health because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.
    • These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory actions in the body.
    • Though saturated and trans fats should be avoided, you should not eliminate all fats.
  7. Margarine is better than butter:
    • Margarine is manufactured from trans fat-containing vegetable oils.
    • Trans fats are considered bad fats because they elevate LDL cholesterol levels.
    • Milk, which contains saturated fats, is used to make butter.
    • However, not all saturated fats are harmful to your health. So, while margarine has less saturated fat than butter, it contains more trans fat.
    • Margarine is not always healthier than butter.
  8. Trans fats are bad for your health:
    • Not all trans fats are the same, and not all trans fats are harmful.
    • Trans fats are considered bad fats because they elevate LDL cholesterol levels.
    • Some trans fats are worse than others, such as those found in margarine and vegetable oils.
    • Though all trans fats are not harmful to your health, some are more harmful than others.
    • However, you must avoid trans fats as much as possible.
  9. You do not need fat:
    • Fat is an important element of a healthy diet.
    • Though you must restrict your consumption of toxic fats, you should eat good fats in moderation to fuel your body and help it perform necessary functions.
    • Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats offer energy to the body just like proteins and carbs.
    • They allow your body to control its temperature, hormones, immune system, reproduction, and other functions.
  10. All fats are unhealthy:
    • Though trans and saturated fats can have negative consequences, such as high cholesterol levels, good dietary fats offer various advantages.
    • Consuming healthy fats in moderation can promote heart health and promote absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K.
    • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower inflammation, improve cognition, and support healthy pregnancies.


Foods That Aren't as Healthy as You Think See Slideshow
Medically Reviewed on 9/22/2022
Image Source: iStock images

Cholesterol Myths and Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/myths_facts.htm

Big Fat Myths. https://www.cspinet.org/eating-healthy/foods-avoid/big-fat-myths

Do you believe the myths about fat? https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/myths-about-fat