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Peanut Oil and Cholesterol

Making It Grow! Minute logo

A sharp-eared listener wrote me a nice note saying he thought I’d made in mistake in talking about health benefits of peanut oil. I checked and sure enough I said that as a monounsaturated fat, it lowered your HDL cholesterol as if that were a good thing. Well, I had it backwards. We want our HDL cholesterol, the excess which can be eliminated by our liver, to be a high number relative to the LDL type which can clog up our arteries. Now, cholesterol is necessary for life; our bodies manufacture it. Fortunately, we can use diet and exercise to try to keep the good HDL number higher and the   LDL number lower. However, even with the best lifestyle choices, some people need meds to help as the one thing we can’t change is our genetic inheritance.

Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.