Understanding Your Cholesterol And How To Keep It In Check

Cholesterol

Introduction

Cholesterol is an organic substance present in the body. It is made up of components known as a sterol. It plays a major role in the body by synthesizing hormones, vitamin D, and other important substances. Also, it helps in making cell membranes and cell structures. Though it deals with the essential component making, too much of it is hazardous to health.

Four different types of cholesterol have been categorized based on their role and function. These are:

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “bad” cholesterol)
  • HDL (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called “good” cholesterol)
  • Triglycerides

A test known as lipid profile is taken to confirm the presence of these cholesterols. People above 20 years of age are advised to take a lipid profile test at least once in two years. Cholesterol is not entirely bad, nor it is entirely good. Let us read a little more on the 4 categories.

Understanding your Cholesterol Situation

LDL Cholesterol

According to ReliableMedRx, LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is commonly known as ‘bad cholesterol’. These cholesterols get accumulated in the inner walls of the arteries. Arteries carry high-pressure oxygenated blood from the heart to other parts of the body. Hence it requires thick-walled tubes with a widened radius. The LDL gets accumulated and narrows down the passage for the blood to flow through. This leads to a severe heart disease known as arteriosclerosis. Hence this cholesterol must always have low quantities.

Typically if your LDL cholesterol rating is above 190, then you should be visiting a doctor. The doctor will prescribe the necessary tablets containing statins. These statins remove the blocks and lower LDL levels. In addition to the tablets, you will be advised to change your food habits and be encouraged to exercise more.

HDL Cholesterol

HDL cholesterol or the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol is commonly known as the ‘good cholesterol’. Here it basically does the job of statins. HDL dilutes the bad cholesterol levels. It removes the bad cholesterol from the arteries. Thus it is usually preferred in high quantities. Higher its score, better for the human body.

Triglycerides

Triglycerides are commonly called fats. The excess of fat which we get out of our food is stored in the form of Triglycerides. Fats are essential for lubrication purposes in our bodies. However, a higher amount of fat can lead to additional problems, most importantly coronary artery disease.

Total Cholesterol

The total cholesterol is the measure of LDL, HDL, and other lipid proteins. Though cholesterol has the limiting value, it depends on person to person considering other factors such as weight, lifestyle, etc.

Keeping your Cholesterol in Check Always

We have now read about the major types of cholesterol and its functions. As mentioned before, the cholesterol risks depend from person to person. However, if the score has crossed the limiting line it is advised to consult the doctor. You will then be given a 10-year heart risk analysis.

But don’t worry. All problems have solutions. These cholesterols can be kept in check by changing your lifestyle. Changing the lifestyle doesn’t mean changing your appearance or so. The change means measures to modify your eating pattern and the inclusion of exercise within your lifestyle.

Let us look at the facts which will help you keep cholesterol in check:

  • Cholesterol is a hereditary trait. Though it is hereditary, it doesn’t mean that you will acquire it, it means that you will have a greater threat of having abnormal cholesterol levels. However, if known beforehand adequate measures can be taken.
  • Balance your weight with your height. A proper BMI (body mass index) is essential to keep your body fit and healthy. Hence make sure to keep your weight in control. When your body weight is low, the major risk of cholesterol is reduced.
  • Exercise daily. 30 minutes of exercise is a must to keep our body in a healthy state. This is because exercise needs more energy from your body. Once the sugar content is being used up, the body utilizes the fat content. In this way, the fat present in the arteries is used up.
  • Watch your diet. Any food you can consume, but make sure it has lower fat content and high amounts of HDL. Try your best to limit saturated foods.
  • Eradicate trans foods. Trans foods are those which come as secondary products like fried items etc. These items contain a lot of fat than their parent material. Whatever packed food you buy, make sure to read the ingredient list and nutritional table thoroughly. 
  • Minimize the oil content. Oils are essential for lubrication, but lots of it is hazardous to health. Moreover try using healthy oils such as olive oil, groundnut oil, etc.
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables. These substances do not possess harmful fats and are easy for digestion purposes. Also, these products are rich in fiber content which helps to eliminate the bad cholesterol present in the body.
  • Quit smoking and drinking. As per se, both are injurious to health. Smoking kills the cells present inside the walls of the arteries.
  • Take proper medication. With all the above practices being followed, one shouldn’t simply ignore the medication. Medications are essential and fasten up your recovery process. Once you have been prescribed the necessary tablets by the doctor, it is important to adhere to it.

All being said, cholesterol cannot leave you on your deathbed easily. Though it creates certain health issues when left unhandled, it can always be kept under control by following the abovementioned methods. People with bad cholesterols are advised to take more of unsaturated fats as this leads to the production of more good cholesterol components. Here are some foods which you should probably avoid:

Here is a list of some foods which you can consume without fear:

  • Whole grains and fiber-rich foods
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Olive oils
  • Fish
  • Soy
  • Greens