Cholesterol is a wax-coated, fat-like matter that happens naturally in all body cells and is required by the body to operate normally. It is located throughout the body, like in the brain, nerves, vitamin D, muscle, hormones and the bile acids that help to convert food into absorbable substances and absorb fat. With the aid of sunlight, cholesterol in the skin can convert to vitamin D, which is necessary for building strong bones.
Only a small quantity of cholesterol is necessary in the blood to satisfy all the body’s needs. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can contribute to atherosclerosis, a kind of hardening of the arteries.
Where it can be found
There are 2 kinds of cholesterol, blood and dietary cholesterol. Blood cholesterol spreads in the bloodstream. All cells can produce cholesterol but the liver makes most of it. If the body produces an excess amount, this raises the risk for heart diseases, like heart attack and stroke.
Vegetables do not make cholesterol, even though they include fat. Dietary cholesterol develops from the foods of animal origin. Common sources are dairy products, eggs, meats, poultry, fish and animal fats.
Bad versus good
Blood cholesterol cannot blend with blood, so it requires a medium to move it around the bloodstream. Cholesterol utilizes three lipoproteins as media; high density lipoproteins, or HDL, low density lipoproteins , or LDL, and very low density lipoproteins, or VLDL. These three lipoproteins make up the total blood cholesterol level. From scientific proof, blood cholesterol can be influenced by the kind and quantity of dietary fat eaten. High cholesterol levels and high LDL levels are sometimes connected to a diet high in saturated fats and an inactive lifestyle. Dietary cholesterol can increase blood cholesterol but usually is not as crucial as saturated fat and the total fat in the diet.
How to reduce blood cholesterol levels; consume less fat, particularly saturated fats, and substitute some saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
High total blood cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol levels raise the risk of heart disease while lower levels lower the risk. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol reduce the risk for heart disease. Following is a short summary of the 2 most prevalent types of cholesterol.
High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
1. HDL moves cholesterol from cells back to the liver.
2. HDL is either reprocessed or changes to bile acids and thrown out. This is called good cholesterol. You want to be sure that your levels of this cholesterol stay high for optimum heart health, because having very low levels of HDL, even if other cholesterol levels are normal, might bring about heart problems. While you act to lower your bad cholesterol it is significant to take steps to keep your HDL levels normal.
3. HDL helps to guarantee protection from the chance of heart attack and stroke. HDL has more protein than triglycerides or cholesterol, and helps to get rid of LDL from your artery walls.
Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL.)
1. LDL transports about 60 to 70 percent of cholesterol throughout the body and is known as bad cholesterol.
2. Reports show in a conclusive way that high cholesterol gives a much higher chance of heart attack and stroke. Other factors to this risk are smoking, age, sex, diabetes mellitus and family history of heart disease.
Unmistakably , when we talk of having cholesterol levels we imply more than 1 number. To keep optimum health, you will want to know your levels of both LDL and HDL and should work hard to maintain both levels in the healthy range.