Confused by Cholesterol?


Happy Halloween... let's talk about something that scares a lot of people...cholesterol!  We'll start with a quiz: True or False…1) Does blood cholesterol rise when you eat food with a lot of cholesterol? 2) Do some foods contain "good" cholesterol?..the answer to both is false, if you want to know why, read on.

By the way, most of today's newsletter comes from a recent issue of "Wellness Letter", published by the school of health of the University of California, Berkeley…I highly recommend it for general health matters.  The website is
Confused by Cholesterol

First of all some basics…cholesterol is essential for us to live.  It is found in every cell of our body, so it can't be all bad!  One of the biggest misunderstandings is the the level of cholesterol in our blood comes from the cholesterol we eat.  Actually, most of the cholesterol in our blood is made by our own body in the liver.

Most people have heard that there is "good" cholesterol and "bad" cholesterol.  If you have a copy of a recent blood test the good cholesterol is the one called "HDL" and the bad is "LDL".  The cholesterol we eat however is chemically all the same.  Our liver turns it into the HDL and LDL.  HDL is good because it collects excess cholesterol off of blood vessel walls and brings it back to the liver.  On the other hand, LDL carries cholesterol to the different cells of the body and tends to leave cholesterol on the blood vessel walls, hence "bad" cholesterol.

The type and amount of fat you eat affects your blood cholesterol level much more than the amount of cholesterol you eat.  The two types of fat that have the most effect on your cholesterol level are saturated fats and trans fats.  The issue of different fats, and what they mean, is a whole topic in itself.  I discussed it in a previous newsletter, the link is here:

So basically the more saturated fat and trans fats you eat the higher your cholesterol level and more importantly the higher the LDL (bad) cholesterol.  These are the two types of fats you should look for when you read a nutritional label and try to minimize.

Pt Informational Seminars, North and South

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This Wednesday we are having our North Jersey patient informational seminar at a different location.  It will be held in Union, NJ.  at:

501 Green Lane, Union, NJ…the seminar starts at 7 p.m.

There will be signs in the lobby to direct you to the proper room.  As usual the seminar is free and open to the public and we will discuss all of the options for bariatric surgery.

We will have our South Jersey informational seminar on November 10th.  It will be held at:

Center for Healthy Living at Kimball hospital
198 Prospect St, Lakewood, NJ 08701

We will start at 5:30 pm and is free and open to anyone interested in finding out about bariatric surgery.

Marisol's Corner

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Ever find yourself in a pinch on what to make for dinner?  I am sure we have all been there, coming home later than usual and unsure of what to eat.  Before you pick up the phone and order take out, try a recipe I made that I am sure you will find tasty and satisfying.  The best part, it only takes about 30 minutes to make.  I hope you enjoy it!


Acorn squash and Cannellini bean soup


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion chopped

1 large garlic clove coarsely chopped

1 small acorn squash, cubed, about 2 cups

1 can Cannellini beans, drained

5 cups low sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup grape tomatoes

1/2 cup dry whole wheat pasta

1 cup Kale (can use collard greens)

Ground pepper to taste.


To prepare acorn squash: Cut squash in half.  Remove seeds with a large spoon.  Place squash on cutting board cut side down.  Cut into slices, then cube the slices.  Measure out 2 cups.


Heat olive oil in a 3 quart size pot over medium heat.  Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add garlic, acorn squash and Cannellini beans, cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.  Add broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Lower heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add dry pasta and kale and cook for 10 more minutes.  Makes about 8 – 1 cup servings.

…thanks Marisol, sounds delicious and healthy too!

Support Groups, North and South

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This Friday is the South Jersey Support Group.  For those of you who don't know it is generally the first Friday of the month, which means it will be this Friday, Nov 4th.

 It is held at the Community Medical Center in Toms River in Auditorium A (make a right after the security guard). It starts at 7 pm.

Our North Jersey support group will be next Wednesday, Nov 9th at:

The Ambulatory Care Center, 200 South Orange Ave,  Livingston, NJ 07039 starting at 6 pm.


Holiday Party

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The Holiday Party this year will be held on December 5th.  Any of you who are "regulars" of our Holiday Party know that the tradition is too hold it on the first Monday in December and we are staying true to that tradition this year as well!

We will be having it at "The Venetian" in Garfield, NJ starting at 6 pm on Monday December 5th.  If you went to last years party then you already know the place.  It is elegant and sophisticated…and the food is pretty good too!  If you would like to see more photos of the place you can go their website at:

The Venetian is loca
ted at:
546 River Rd, Garfield, NJ 07026
Driving directions can be found on their website.

In Good Health,

Michael Bilof, MD
Garden State Bariatrics & Wellness Center

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