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Which foods are high in LDL or HDL cholesterol ?

LDL and HDL (Low- and High Density Lipoproteins) are the particles in the blood that transport cholesterol. Cholesterol is a lipid and does not dissolve in water (or blood). To transport cholesterol the body produces proteins that bind lipids, the lipo-proteins. The higher the lipid concentration in these particles the lower the density, as fat and lipids have a lower density than protein. HDL particles thus have lower cholesterol than LDL particles.

Dietary cholesterol is present in all animal fat, vegetable fat does not contain cholesterol. In meat (blood) this cholesterol may contain particles identical to human LDL or HDL. In oil the cholesterol is dissolved and not bound to protein.

When ingested LDL and HDL particles, when present, are destroyed by the enzymes in the digestive tract, which break down the protein fraction into amino acids. For the regulation of the blood cholesterol level it is thus not important whether the cholesterol in the diet was bound to protein or freely dissolved in the fat. The presence of LDL or HDL particles in (ingested) meat has no influence on the LDL and HDL levels in humans.










European Masters Degree in Food Studies - an Educational Journey

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