Thursday, December 11, 2008

Acai Berries And Good Cholesterol - What's The Relation?

acai berries
photo credit: Psergio

By: Steve Charles

Among the various benefits of the acai berries, the fact that it can help improve the cholesterol levels of the body has gained wide prominence. Let us see these benefits of the berries in greater detail.

First, we must acquaint ourselves a bit with the cholesterols that are present in our body.

Though we use the term 'cholesterol' often singularly, it must be noted that there isn't just one type of cholesterol. Cholesterol is not a single compound, but a family of chemical compounds. To make matters easily understandable, we simple classify cholesterols into good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Quite understandably, the good cholesterol is the cholesterol that the body requires and the bad cholesterol is the one that is responsible for all those nasty health complications that we hear of.

The good cholesterol is actually the HDL cholesterol (HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein). They contain a high amount of protein and a lower amount of fat. Such cholesterols will help in the proper fat metabolism in the body. There are some fatty acids, such as those present in olive oil and canola oil, which are needed in the body just so they can absorb fat that come in through the food. In the absence of these oils, the fats will stick to the arteries and cause problems such as atherosclerosis.

The bad cholesterol, on the other hand, is the LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol. This contains a lower proportion of protein and higher proportion of fat. This cholesterol is unhealthy; it can actually stay put inside the arteries, thus obstructing flow. If that happens in the coronary artery, heart problems are only a stone's throw away.

The sorry part of all this is that we cannot eliminate bad cholesterol from our diet. However much healthy we eat, the LDL cholesterols will always enter our body through the food that we eat. Hence, each time we are eating something almost anything we are opening the door a little to health problems.

Mercifully, there are some foods that actually help solve the situation. Acai berries are proudly included in this category. By virtue of the nutrients that they possess, the acai berries can tilt the cholesterol balances in our body so that it has more of the good cholesterol and less of the bad.

How do these berries do it then? Very simply! Acai berries have a strong constitution of useful fatty acids such as oleic, linoleic and palmitic acids. When consumed, these healthy fatty acids enter the body and help dissolve the fat that is un-metabolized yet. In that way, the bad cholesterol from the body is dissolved and converted into energy, which is what the fat's function actually is supposed to be.

Our body can have only so much amount of cholesterol. As the amount of good cholesterol in the body increases, there is a proportional decrease in the amount of bad cholesterol. It is clear to see how our body becomes healthier through the creation of this favorable balance.

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