Heroes or losers? No I am not referencing people, I am talking about the different types of cholesterol. LDL vs. HDL.
I am going to open up by saying too much of anything is a bad thing. Too much food leads to obesity. Too much water leads to drowning or hyponatremia. Too much HDL or LDL is high cholesterol and can lead to a litany of issues to include but not limited to heart disease. But what is cholesterol? Where does it come from and why does it matter to me?
High Density Lipoproteins (HDL or Hero) is responsible for eliminating LDL from your body. This may be an inaccurate representation but the way I imagine it is it coats the LDL and makes it too slick to stick to anything. It is then processed by your body and urinated out later.
Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL or Loser) is the bad stuff. This is what you get when you eat highly processed foods or anything high in trans or saturated fats. Imagine millions of tiny splinters floating through your blood stream. When they impale the tunica intima (the inner layer of your arteries/veins) it causes a normal inflammatory response. This then leads to clotting inside of your vessel and whabam! heart attack.
So how do I ensure I get more HDL then LDL?
By doing one of our favorite things, eating. However instead of eating everything in sight like a mindless blob our goal is to be mindful of the things we put in our bodies. Eat things high in unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Take fish oil supplements and be mindful of the exact supplement you are taking. Keep in mind there is a lot of noise around what types of fish oil you should be taking. Here is a pretty good article that breaks down the difference in ethyl ester (EE) and triglyceride (TG) fish oils. As always do your own research, try to find peer reviewed articles don't just take my word for it.
But why does this all matter to me? I am a physical stud training to be an operator...
Yeah, but I can tell you from personal experience you will be traveling so much it will feel impossible to establish a solid diet. You are going to eat fast food and drink boose. Ensure you know how to get the LDL out of your body and sustain a healthy HDL/LDL ratio.
Lastly, I am not a nutritionist or dietician. I am a pararescueman and giving advice based on my own personal research. Do yourself a favor and do your own research.