If you have a better idea of what cholesterol is and how you can manage it in your life, this information will lead to better heart health, and all round better feeling of well being. Cholesterol is a waxy like substance that is found in the walls of all your body cells, from your nervous system to your liver and in your blood stream as well. Your body uses this cholesterol to make necessary hormones, bile acids, vitamin D and other vital substances that your body needs to survive. There are good and bad types of cholesterol as well
Where does the Cholesterol in your body come from?
Your body manufacturers all the cholesterol your body requires from the foods you eat. This cholesterol will circulate in your bloodstream in packages known as lipoproteins, which consist of fat inside and protein on the outside. Cholesterol which is a fatty substance does not mix with the blood, just as oil does not mix with water. Your blood carries it to the parts of the body where it is required as mentioned above
Your Body has 2 Types of cholesterol in your body, both good and bad!.
Your body carries two types of cholesterol one which is good for your health and the other bad… These are known as low density lipoprotein or LDL which is the bad cholesterol which carries cholesterol that builds up in your body tissues including your heart arteries. Most cholesterol in your blood at any given time is the LDL cholesterol. The higher the levels are of LDL cholesterol in your blood stream; the higher your dangers are of contracting heart disease. So remember LDL is the bad cholesterol and you don’t want high levels of this type in your body.
The good Cholesterol in your body is called HDL cholesterol. This cholesterol carries cholesterol away from your tissues to your liver where it is harmlessly removed from your body by natural secretion. Low levels of HDL increase heart disease. Healthy levels of HDL are good for you. Do not get mixed up between the two.
Why are high levels of LDL Cholesterol bad for your body?
Too much cholesterol in your blood leads to blocked and clogged up body tissues including your heart arteries. This build up is called plaque and as a result your arteries become less flexible. You may have heard the term atherosclerosis; which is hardening of your arteries and as you know the end result can be a heart attack. It is not just your heart blood vessels that can suffer from too much cholesterol, but any of the arteries in your body as well. If your coronary artery becomes blocked by too much plaque you will suffer angina because your blood is unable to get the oxygen it needs or the nutrients to the heart muscle. Hardening of the coronary artery is called coronary heart disease which you may likely by now have heard somewhere or another. This form of heart disease is becoming common in the western world due to high cholesterol in the blood from; Yes; and you guessed it; from unhealthy eating habits!
The risk factors.
Certain risk factors nothing can be done about regarding heart diseases and cholesterol levels. These factors where risks of heart disease are increased, are age groups for men and women over 45, which are ages that will increase the likelihood of coronary heart disease from atherosclerosis. Family history of early heart disease is also a factor that must be taken into consideration. The lack of regular exercise and bad eating habits increase the risk of heart disease from cholesterol as well. Most fast foods are prepared in unhealthy fats which is a high risk factor more than anything else as well €¦
How to lower your risks of high cholesterol.
Perhaps you have heard some of these tips before but it is prudent to go over them again for your information:
1 Avoid foods with high animal fat content. Trim excess fat off meat
2. Eat Lots of fruit, vegetables, and fiber for your health
3. Eat less salt in your diet and limit salty snacks and foods.
4. Lose some weight if you are carrying too much according to your BMI (Body Mass Index)
5. Regular sensible exercise in moderation and plenty of fresh air.
6. Stay calm and avoid stressful situations.
7. Limit your alcohol intake to a sensible level.
8. Smoke less, or give up altogether if possible.
Other treatments that can be used if your doctor has found you to have unhealthy levels of cholesterol are certain drugs called ‘statins’ that will control the rate which your body produces cholesterol. These drugs increase HDL and lower the bad LDL cholesterols. See above about what we mentioned about the good and bad cholesterols.
Watch your diet and eat healthily
Choose healthy fats like olive oil, avocado pears, peanut butter, unsalted nuts and fish oils. Try and limit intakes of salt, polyunsaturated fats, sunflower oils, soft margarines and salad dressings like mayonnaise. (Some newer soft low cholesterol margarine is available on the market that is completely safe to use nowadays though).
Watch out particularly to avoid eating too much animal fats on meats, eat less eggs, cheese, fatty meats, butter, and ice creams and of course take out foods. Naturally you can eat any of the above as long as you are sensible about it. Everyone tells you to eat more fiber, and by now with this advice it should be a given. If you are not eating enough greens or fresh vegetables then take some sort of antioxidants or supplements. Cut down drinking of alcohol to one or two drinks a day.
There is some great advice and diets that have been designed to help people with high cholesterol reduce these high levels. With a little research you will find the right ways to control your cholesterol.