Cholesterol can be your friend and enemy at the same time. A definite amount of cholesterol is a necessity for proper bodily functions, whereas an excess of it may cause a lot of trouble, sometimes as bad as a heart attack. Cholesterol is a very common ingredient of the human body and can be found in each and every cell. Digesting food and producing hormones are some of the functions of cholesterol.
The major functions of cholesterol are as follows:
- It contributes in the structuring of cell walls
- It creates digestive bile acids in the intestine
- It lets the body create vitamin D
- It assists the body in making some hormones
LDL and HDL
Cholesterol is transferred in the blood in the form of proteins called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins.
- LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein): LDL cholesterol is also known as “bad cholesterol”, as an increase in its quantity can be disastrous to health. A rise in the levels of low-density lipoprotein results in the rise of cholesterol in the arteries.
- HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein): This one is known as “good cholesterol”, as it can protect you from some heart diseases.
High cholesterol is a very major and considerable threat for heart attacks. Minimizing the blood lipid amount may decrease cardiovascular risks. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) moves cholesterol into the liver for ejection from the body.
Causes of high cholesterol
The major reason for an increase in the level of cholesterol is the consumption of saturated fat, cholesterol, and trans fat. Other causes of high cholesterol level can be the following:
- Smoking: When they say smoking is injurious to health, they are not kidding. Smoking cigarettes can damage the blood vessels leading to plaque buildup.
- Not getting enough exercise: Exercising is very important, and the lack of it can cause many complications. A proper amount of exercise can keep the cholesterol level in check.
- Obesity: Excess body fat can lead to high cholesterol. If you’re obese, you should do something about it before it gets late.
High cholesterol symptoms
High cholesterol levels, don’t show any indications. Routine testing and regular blood tests are the ways to diagnose it.
How to reduce cholesterol levels
Reducing cholesterol levels is very important for a healthy life. The main way to do it is by changing your lifestyle. Some changes in lifestyle are recommended for people who have high cholesterol levels. These lifestyle changes can help reduce cholesterol levels.
- The diet you follow needs to be good for the heart. It should be low in fat. High LDL cholesterol treatment includes avoiding saturated fat completely. For example, high fiber vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
- Regular exercise is very important.
- Smoking should be avoided.
- A healthy weight should be achieved and maintained.
- Stay healthy and stay happy!