What is Cholesterol?
If you’re reading this, you probably care about your wellbeing and the function cholesterol may play. That’s a significant first step. So, what is cholesterol? What exactly does it do? What are LDL and HDL cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It is not inherently “bad”. Your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. But too much cholesterol can pose an issue.
Your liver makes all of the cholesterol you require. By way of example, meat, poultry, and dairy products all contain dietary cholesterol.
Those very same foods are high in saturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it otherwise would.
For some folks, this extra generation means they go from a normal cholesterol level to one that’s unhealthy.
Some tropical oils — such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, and coconut oil — contain saturated fat that may increase bad cholesterol. These oils are often found in baked goods.
Why cholesterol issues:
Cholesterol circulates in the blood. Since the amount of cholesterol in your blood increases, so does the threat to your health.
High cholesterol contributes to a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.
That is why it’s important to have your cholesterol tested, so you can know your levels.
The 2 types of cholesterol are LDL cholesterol, which is bad, and HDL, which is good.
Too much of the bad type, or not a lot of the good kind, increases the risk cholesterol will slowly develop in the interior walls of the arteries that nourish the heart and brain.
Cholesterol can combine with other materials to make a thick, hard deposit on the inside of the arteries.
This may narrow the arteries and make them less flexible — a condition known as atherosclerosis.
When it comes to cholesterol, recall: assess, change and control. That is:
- Assess your cholesterol levels. It’s essential to know your numbers and rate your risk.
- Change your lifestyle and diet to help improve your levels.
- Control your cholesterol, with help from your doctor if needed
High cholesterol is one of the significant controllable risk factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. In case you have other risk factors like smoking, higher blood pressure, or diabetes, your risk increases even more.
The more risk factors you have and the more intense they are, the higher your overall risk.
HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides:
Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol from cells. An evaluation measures the amount of each type of cholesterol in the blood.
LDL (bad) cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is known as the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to fatty buildups in arteries (atherosclerosis).
This narrows the arteries and increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
HDL (good) cholesterol
The HDL cholesterol can be considered as the”good” cholesterol as a healthful level can protect against heart attack and stroke.
HDL carries LDL (bad) cholesterol from the arteries and back to the liver, in which the LDL is broken down and passed from the body.
However, HDL cholesterol does not completely eliminate LDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides are the most common type of fat in the body. They store surplus energy from your diet plan.
A high triglyceride level together with high LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (good) cholesterol is linked with fatty buildups inside the artery walls, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Causes For High Cholesterol
Have a Look at your lifestyle:
You can make lifestyle changes to increase your cholesterol numbers.
Your body naturally produces all the LDL (bad) cholesterol it requires. An unhealthy lifestyle makes your body produce more LDL cholesterol than it needs.
This is the reason for high LDL cholesterol for most people.
Behaviors that may negatively affect your cholesterol levels include:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of physical activity
- Smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke
- Being overweight
Heredity can play a role:
Some people today inherit genes from their mother, father, or grandparents that make them have an excessive amount of cholesterol. This can be known as familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).
The harshness of FH is related to the length and level of LDL cholesterol from the blood. FH is harmful because it can cause premature atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
If you have a family history of FH or problems related to elevated cholesterol, get your levels checked.
Create the changes worth making:
When you have elevated blood cholesterol, making lifestyle changes is a wonderful first step to lessen your chance of heart disease.
If those steps don’t reduce your risk enough, your physician may prescribe medications to help.
Remember: Making even small changes now can help to prevent significant medical problems afterward.
Do all you can to lower your risk for the critical effects of heart attack and stroke.
Treatment and Prevention of High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia):
When it comes to cholesterol, it is important to understand your numbers. Hyperlipidemia means your blood has too many lipids (or fats), such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
This condition increases fatty deposits in blood vessels and the risk of blockages.
Another way your cholesterol numbers could be from equilibrium is if your HDL (good) cholesterol level is too low.
With less HDL to remove cholesterol in your blood vessels, your risk of atherosclerotic plaque and blockages raises.
If you’re diagnosed with hyperlipidemia, your general health and other risks such as smoking or high blood pressure will help direct therapy.
These variables can combine with high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol levels to affect your cardiovascular health.
Your physician may utilize the ASCVD Risk Calculator to rate your risk of a coronary event in the next 10 years.
The fantastic news is, higher cholesterol can be reduced, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
If you’re 20 decades or old, have your cholesterol tested and then work with your doctor to correct your cholesterol levels as needed.
Often, altering behaviors might help bring your numbers into line. If lifestyle changes alone do not improve your cholesterol levels, medication might be prescribed.
Eating a heart-healthy diet:
From a dietary standpoint, the ideal way to lower your cholesterol is to reduce your consumption of saturated fat and trans fat.
The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fat to less than 6% of daily calories and reducing the amount of trans fat you consume.
Reducing these fats means restricting your consumption of red meat and meat products made with whole milk. Choose skim milk, low-fat or low-fat dairy products instead.
It also means limiting fried cooking and food with healthy oils, like vegetable oil.
A heart-healthy diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts, and nontropical vegetable oils while restricting red and processed meats, sodium, and sugar-sweetened foods and beverages.
Many diets fit this general description. For example, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan encouraged by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and diets suggested by the U.S. Department of Agriculture along with the American Heart Association are heart-healthy strategies.
Such diets could be accommodated based on your food and cultural preferences.
To be more intelligent about everything you eat, pay more attention to food labels. As a starting point:
- Know your fats. Knowing which fats increase LDL cholesterol and which ones do not is key to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Cook for reduced cholesterol. A heart-healthy eating program can help you manage your blood cholesterol level.
Becoming physically active:
A sedentary lifestyle reduces HDL cholesterol. Less HDL means there’s less good cholesterol to get rid of bad cholesterol from your arteries.
Physical activity is critical. At least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week is sufficient to reduce both cholesterol and higher blood pressure. And you have a lot of options: brisk walking, swimming, bicycling, or yard work can fit your bill.
Smoking and vaping reduce HDL cholesterol.
Worse still, when an individual with unhealthy cholesterol levels also cigarettes, the risk of coronary heart disease raises more than it otherwise could.
By quitting, smokers may reduce their LDL cholesterol and increase their HDL cholesterol levels. In addition, it can help safeguard their arteries.
Nonsmokers should prevent exposure to secondhand smoke.
Being overweight or obese will increase bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. But a weight loss of as few as 5% to 10% can help improve cholesterol levels.
Ask your friends and loved ones for support.
If you’re feeling anxious or depressed, consider joining a support group or seeking counseling. Believe in your ability to take control of the pain…
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