Northern equinox and the clocks go forward one hour tonight – that's always a good sign for me. With daylight now before 6am, increased sunlight duration is helping us SAD sufferers. If you live in the southern hemisphere, however, then your clocks will be going back, and the sunset of SAD symptoms will soon be appropriate to sufferers.

It's been a tough winter up here, the coldest for 30 years in W Europe and the US East Coast has had a bad time too.

At the start of the New Year I made a change to my diet. When I was much younger I ate an egg daily, but for many years I have rarely eaten eggs – that means maybe once a month. Of course, there are eggs in pasta, cakes and other processed foods. The reason I minimized them was because I had read that they were heavy on cholesterol. My 'bad' cholesterol level has not been too bad at about 5.7 for the last few years, but my SAD has been intense.

So, surrounding upping my exercise levels and taking St John's Wort, I have started to eat an egg every second day – usually poached.

Now, I look forward to my egg (usually on wholemeal toast), and I do believe it has made a difference. Also, I've been adding some pate 'to my regular foods – the liver content is beneficial, although liver is also high in cholesterol. My pate 'take is not excessive.

There are three main types of cholesterol:

o LDL – low-density lipoprotein – so-called 'bad cholesterol' – this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and, if supply exemptions demand, harmful build-up of cholesterol may result.

o HDL – high-density lipoprotein – so-called 'good cholesterol' – this transports cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down or excreted from the body.

o Triglycerides.

So why is cholesterol important? It forms part of the membrane that surrounds every cell, and helps to isolate nerve fibers (allowing nerve signals to travel more efficiently); also to help synthesize hormones, which carry chemical signals around the body. So, without cholesterol, our bodies would not work well, if at all. Too much cholesterol in the blood, however, increases the risk of coronary heart disease and disease of the arteries.

The general consensus is that the relative balance of the three types of cholesterol is what is important, although there is much debt as to what constitutes a healthy level. It is not considered healthy when someone has high levels of LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.

Of course, spring is coming (for us northerners) and that always helps, but I do believe the eggs and pate 'have made a difference to me. If you live in the southern hemisphere, are intolerable to SAD and not looking forward to the coming winter, then it is worth considering your diet balance

I will be going for my annual blood check soon and will get a new cholesterol measurement; I do recommend that if you are considering adjusting your diet, that you discuss it with your physicist first. My physician may have a few things to say to me!

Copyright (c) 2010 Phil Marks