Is high cholesterol really bad for bodybuilding? How does it affect your whole health? It’s rather important to answer this second question in order to know the answer for the first.
Heart disease, cholesterol and bodybuilding
Most heavy lifters are worried that their protein and fat rich diets are leading to high cholesterol values. In turn, this increases the risk of heart disease. However, according to new data, cholesterol alone doesn’t increase your odds so much. There are other factors that eventually create the conditions for heart issues, with cholesterol only being a small piece in the puzzle. To know more about this, you may want to read the book written by Stephen Sinatra, M.D.
High cholesterol is no longer a health indicator you can trust. In any case, you should have a look at both HDL and LDL levels, the “good” and the “bad” cholesterol. It’s more important to pay attention to the triglycerides, as these are better indicator of coronary disease risks. High triglycerides levels are usually registered after every meal that’s rich in fats. If you have a high-low-high-low pattern that follows how you eat, then it’s considered to be a healthy response. Keep in mind that too many carbs and sugars can also lead to high values as the body gets to store more fat. This could be an issue.
Focus on your meals
In bodybuilding, normal cholesterol levels are a matter of clean eating most of the time. Opting for a too liberal diet while bulking may result in worse numbers. One needs to resist the temptation that a fast metabolism or any other features will help them get rid of the excessive cholesterol. The meal size also matters – 6 small meals throughout a day are better than 3 big ones. This will ensure you hit the needed caloric intake and reach your weight goals.
It’s not mandatory to be so hard on yourself and strive to lower cholesterol. It is true, some bodybuilders exaggerate with their egg consumption, but those are advised to skip some of the yolks (not all). Besides, the market offers conveniently packaged egg whites. However, many nutrition experts consider this to be a not so helpful measure to take. Instead, they advise on eating less processed food and avoid drinking too much alcohol. To keep your levels in check, never forget to do cardio. Many make the mistake of keeping cardio only for cutting, but this can take its toll on the body. Always do your cardio, including your bulking times.
If you wish to prevent heart disease, then an anti-inflammatory diet is the best protocol. Artery plaque buildup is mainly caused by inflammation and the two basic compounds that fight it are the coenzyme Q10 and Omega-3 fatty acids. Carnitine, especially in the form of L-Carnitine, is a good supplement to take, as it helps transport fatty acids to the heart’s muscle cells. Magnesium also has a central role in cardiovascular health, which is why you need to supplement it regularly.
Your fitness pal