I went to the Doctor again. This time i avoided the glass door. The "stress echo" indicated i was doing well, but the blood test showed high cholesterol. Specifically, my LDL was 150, and he said i should be closer to 100.
The choice was medicine or diet change, with stress on the diet change, and a checkup in four months to see how well i am doing.
Now i have a mission: Lower my LDL.
I went to the source of all truths, and searched for facts and tips. I came Harvard's School of Public Health's Nutrition Source. Overall, it's a good website. It has a definite liberal bias noticeable in the tone here and there, but they did a decent job of covering most of that with unbiased facts and charts. Although i read or skimmed most of the sections, the section of obvious interest was Fats and Cholesterol: Out with the Bad, In with the Good.
The article discusses how fat affects cholesterol levels more so than cholesterol itself, and that it is specifically saturated fat that is the problem. Unsaturated fats--both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated--are good in this regard, though total fat intake itself should not be overlooked. That is, basic instructions are to ingest some unsaturated fat daily.
It includes a useful chart of common oils and their fat breakdown, What Type of Fat Is It? It shows the monounsaturated goodness of olive oil, the polyunsaturated goodness of safflower oil, and the overall unsaturated goodness of Canola oil, which has the least saturated fat of them all.
So, now i am a bit confused. If saturated is bad, and unsaturated is good, doesn't that mean that canola oil is better than olive oil (in this regard)? Why is olive oil touted as being so good and regular oils not so good? Unless monounsaturated is the best.
There one more question i keep thinking about. Does the goodness of the unsaturated fat "cancel out" the badness of the saturated fat? Or, is it just better to also have unsaturated fat, but still go for the least saturated fats?
I contacted them about my concerns, perhaps i will hear back form them.