High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels or “bad cholesterol” affects about 31% of the United States. Having too high LDL levels can lead to heart attack or stroke, but there are many myths about cholesterol that are misleading. Understanding what is a myth and what is not can help you achieve even better heart health.

4 Myths About Cholesterol

1. All Cholesterol is Bad

This is one of the most misleading myths about cholesterol. In the 80s and 90s, scientists believed that any amount of cholesterol was bad for your heart, and people never forgot that.

However, more recent research done in the new millennium has shown that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is healthy for your heart. Foods like eggs, avocados, fish, and nuts are high in HDL, which has been shown to lower LDL.

Yes, eating too much cholesterol can be damaging to your heart, but not all cholesterol is bad. Staying clear of foods high in LDL will keep your cholesterol levels down.

2. Cholesterol Problems Are Only Caused From Food

It’s a common belief that high cholesterol problems are tied solely to the food consumed by an individual. While it does play a role, a person’s diet may take less of a toll than their genetics.

High cholesterol can run in your genes, making it especially important to keep your cholesterol levels down. Often times, people who have hereditary high cholesterol do not respond to medication to lower it as well.

Learn about your family’s history of high cholesterol and what you can do to prevent it naturally.

3. Kids Can’t Have High Cholesterol

Childhood obesity rates are at nearly 20%, which is 13% higher than it was in 1980. Children are facing higher risks of heart disease than ever before.

To think that children are immune from high cholesterol is quite naive. If a child can be more obese than an adult, they can most definitely have high cholesterol too.

Because they are younger, lifestyle changes in diet and exercise can help them bounce back to being healthy faster than adults at times.

4. Cholesterol Medication Does Not Work 100% of the Time

One of the commonly believed myths about cholesterol is that cholesterol medication is a full-proof plan. If you take your medication, you have nothing to worry about.

A recent study showed that cholesterol medication did not necessarily decrease the risk of heart disease or stroke from having high cholesterol. The researchers could not figure out why that was the case, but the medication failed to show improvements.

As mentioned before, heredity and other factors can play into cholesterol being harder to control for some than others. If your medication is not working the way you’d like it to, try to make lifestyle changes and talk to your doctor about further steps to get healthier.