After studying heart health and diet for more than 60 years, Prof Fred Kummerow, 98, at the University of Illinois, says that most cholesterol is good for you, and won't cause heart problems. Only cholesterol that has been unnaturally oxidized through frying, or processed as polyunsaturated fats-typically found in fast foods and snacks-should be avoided.
He reached his conclusion after studying the health of people who had bypass operations. They had far higher levels of oxidized cholesterols, or oxysterols, in their plasma and tissues than people who had healthy cardiovascular systems.
The one other major factor in heart disease is, of course, smoking, says Kummerow.
(Source: American Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, 2013; 3: 17-26).