"Cholesterol Clarity" (Book Review)
For a long time we’ve been plagued by misinformation about fats and cholesterol in our diet. Beginning decades ago, an anti-fat, anti-cholesterol propaganda machine spread throughout our medical communities and our collective consciousness.
The anti-cholesterol mindset runs deep in our culture. However, many researchers and doctors are now calling this into question, including Jimmy Moore and Eric C. Westman in their book, Cholesterol Clarity.
Anyone who has taken Biology 101 can tell you cholesterol is required for life. It performs innumerable acts in the body, all the way down to modulating the viscosity of all of your cell membranes. To say it’s an important substance is an understatement. This is one of the take-home points in this great book.
Of course, some people have high cholesterol numbers, or more accurately, perhaps wonky lipoprotein values. Cholesterol Clarity teaches us that those two are different things, and delves into what these numbers mean and how they can get out of control. This is great news for concerned readers who may have received a bad blood test.
Perhaps of even greater interest to many Breaking Muscle readers, this book will explain why cholesterol is important for exercise too. The word cholesterol ends with -sterol. Sterols are molecules that act as precursors to beneficial hormones like testosterone, so they are critical for muscle growth and general fitness.
About the Book
The authors begin by describing the book itself and the people who wrote it. While there are two primary authors, there are also many expert contributors. So that it doesn’t read too much like a textbook, information snippets titled, “Moment(s) of Clarity” are all throughout the book where they are relevant to the topic at hand. This feature allows the experts to chime in at various points.
Occasionally I found the expert quotations a little distracting from the main narrative. However, I didn’t add this into the cons section in the chart because I think it’s a better format for the average reader, as opposed to a textbook format, which would be too bland. I also took it to be a good thing because I kept finding myself wanting to move on to learn more.
After the opening section there are a few sections describing cholesterol, fat, inflammation, and other related health issues and biological substances found in your body. Many of these topics can be confusing and are brought to light clearly in this book. These chapters form a good base from which to peruse the rest of the book.
Most of the remainder of the book is delineated by individual questions, each of which has a detailed answer. The purpose is to create a book that not only flows from beginning to end, but that also can be used as a reference guide. For example, let’s say you were just advised to take a cholesterol drug. You can find the corresponding chapter to learn more about it. Or perhaps you’re a vegetarian and want to know what your diet means for your cholesterol levels. Each section can stand alone for those wishing to go back to the book and learn more.
At the end of those sections is a little test to see how well you can read your blood lipid numbers for when you’re tested in the future. There are also some tables to use as references.
The only con about this book is that it might be a bit intense of a read for people with little nutritional knowledge. People who are interested in the topic, but perhaps low on knowledge, might have to read some parts a few times for all of the information to sink in fully, but that’s a good thing. I’d much prefer a book packed densely with information then one filled with a lot of easy-to-understand, but unimportant fluff.
The book’s primary author, Jimmy Moore, acknowledges that some of the information is heavy and does a great job at simplifying. With each chapter you will learn information of increasing complexity that will make the following chapters easier to understand.
Perhaps you’ve recently had a blood test. Or maybe you’re a coach or a health professional interested in getting solid information out to your athletes and clients. Or maybe you’re just a nerd like me. No matter what the reason for your interest, if you want to know more about cholesterol I strongly recommend giving this book a read.
"Cholesterol Clarity" is available for $19.08 at Amazon.com.