Eating cholesterol raises cholesterol levels in the blood.
75% of people experience no change in blood cholesterol levels when they eat cholesterol; the remaining 25% experience a modest increase, but it is unlikely to be clinically significant (see myth #3 below).
Eating saturated fat raises cholesterol levels in the blood.
This is true in short-term studies, but long-term studies show that, with the exception of a subset of “hyper-responders”, eating saturated fat doesn’t raise cholesterol levels in the blood.
High cholesterol levels in the blood cause heart disease.
We don’t have a cholesterol level in our blood. Cholesterol is carried through the body by lipoproteins. It is the concentration (i.e. number) of these lipoproteins, and not the cholesterol they carry, that determines our risk of heart disease.
If you have high cholesterol (i.e. total cholesterol & LDL-C), you’re at high risk of heart disease.
Total and LDL cholesterol alone are only weakly correlated with heart disease risk; the number of LDL particles is far more important than the amount of cholesterol they contain, which is what LDL-C and total cholesterol measure.
If you have normal or even low cholesterol, you’re at low risk for heart disease.
It’s possible to have low or even normal total and LDL-C, but have a high number of LDL particles and thus be at increased risk. Moreover, very low cholesterol is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, especially in the elderly.