Facts About Cholesterol: All you Need to know About Cholesterol

What is Cholesterol..?

All You Need to Know facts about cholesterol: Causes, Types, and Treatment Options. Cholesterol is another food ingredient that gets more than its fair share of bad press. Biochemically, cholesterol is a steroid-based molecule related to fat. Despite what you sometimes hear, cholesterol is needed in small amounts for good health. It is a major structural component of many body tissues, including the cardiovascular and nervous systems.

It’s also used in the synthesis of many of the sex and adrenal hormones, as well as some digestive enzymes. There are two primary forms of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). From a health point of view, your goal is to keep HDL levels high and LDL levels low. LDLs tend to be sticky in texture and attach more easily to arterial walls, causing blockages.

While you have little control over genetics, such lifestyle factors as smoking, drinking, nutrition and exercise can be controlled. Quit smoking (or never start), reduce your alcohol consumption, cut down on saturated and trans fat, and start exercising– including cardio (hopefully you’re already way ahead on this one!).

CHOLESTEROL BLOOD TESTS

Even if you’re following this advice it’s a good idea to have regular blood tests performed to check your cholesterol levels. Now you probably think that a blood test for cholesterol would simply tell you how much cholesterol is in your body. Well, it does, but doctors use several measurements to deduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The three measurements are:

LDL cholesterol

HDL cholesterol

Total cholesterol

The first thing I should tell you is that total cholesterol doesn’t simply mean LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol. There are additional types of cholesterol, but I don’t need to discuss them here. Cholesterol is measured as milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood. Medical types have abbreviated it as mg/dL. In some cases only your total cholesterol will be measured, other times you will get results for all three. About total cholesterol,

here is a general guide:

 

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the ratio should be below 5:1. A ratio of 3.5:1 is optimal. So, you should not simply keep track of your cholesterol levels, but you should also do everything in your power to keep your LDL levels low and HDL levels high.

FOODS TO HELP LOWER CHOLESTEROL

Most of us probably realize that fried foods, ice cream, and fatty red meats raise cholesterol levels. Well here’s some great news. There are foods you can add to your diet to reduce your cholesterol levels. Researchers have discovered that some foods, particularly deep sea fish, oatmeal, walnuts, and foods high in plant sterols, can help regulate your cholesterol.

Research has also revealed that a diet combining some of these foods may be just as effective 227 at reducing cholesterol as cholesterol-lowering drugs (particularly LDL or “bad” cholesterol). In no particular order, here are some superfoods that will help keep your arteries cholesterol-free for decades to come!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are interesting facts about high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is a common health concern that can lead to various cardiovascular issues. Here are some interesting facts about high cholesterol:

  1. Silent Condition:
    • High cholesterol is often referred to as a “silent” condition because it usually has no symptoms. Many people may not be aware they have high cholesterol until it’s detected through a blood test.
  2. Role of LDL and HDL:
    •  Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is often called “bad” cholesterol because it can build up on the walls of arteries. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is considered “good” cholesterol as it helps remove LDL from the bloodstream.

Which food increases cholesterol?

Here are some foods that may increase cholesterol levels:

  1. Saturated and Trans Fats:
    • Foods high in saturated and trans fats can raise LDL cholesterol levels. These include:
      • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork)
      • Processed meats (sausages, hot dogs, bacon)
  2. Processed Foods:
    • Many processed and packaged foods, including snacks, baked goods, and commercially prepared meals, often contain trans fats, saturated fats, and high levels of sodium, contributing to increased cholesterol levels.

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