The number of people who are suffering from heart disease as a result of high cholesterol levels is increasing. There are several factors to blame for the build-up of cholesterol inside our body, however the major factor is primarily an unhealthy diet. A high fat diet and bad eating habits can substantially increase the body’s blood cholesterol levels.
Our liver produces cholesterol and it is required by the body for fulfilling vital bodily functions: hormonal synthesis of testosterone and estrogen, cellular protection, fat digestion and vitamin synthesis. The human body requires a small amount of cholesterol to support its normal functions and a high fat diet can quickly increase cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries. Cholesterol can’t be dissolved by the body, and to make matters worse, it is also very difficult to eliminate. Excess cholesterol enters our bloodstream and is deposited into different places inside our body. Cholesterol forms plaque on the artery walls by adhering to the inner lining, causing blockage over time. If cholesterol builds up inside the heart arteries, then heart disease may develop.
A sensible healthy diet and regular exercise are essential in lowering blood cholesterol levels. It is quite important to choose and eat low fat products that are low in cholesterol, as foods high cholesterol can quickly increase blood cholesterol levels. It is recommended that you should eat only low cholesterol foods that contain unsaturated fat. Among the many foods that contain high levels of cholesterol are: eggs, meats, sweets and dairy products. Also, foods that are high in saturated fat can also stimulate the accumulation of cholesterol in our body: pork, organ meats, and poultry.
In an ideal diet, low cholesterol foods should replace foods containing high quantities of cholesterol and saturated fat. Sweets for example, contain simple carbohydrates which increases body fat deposits and accelerates the accumulation of body cholesterol. Consuming less than 300 mg of cholesterol a day is recommended.
Considering that a chicken egg contains around 300 mg of cholesterol, one would think that eating properly can be quite tricky. This is not really the case. The best thing to note is that only animal products contain cholesterol, while plant-based products are cholesterol free. Yes, fruits and vegetables may contain fat, however they actually don’t contain any cholesterol. Low cholesterol foods also have less saturated fat, and therefore are a lot healthier for the body.
Since it is very difficult to be on a diet based only on fruits and vegetables. It would be more manageable to diversify your diet. For example, you can consume low cholesterol foods such as lean meat, egg whites, chicken, and fish. Other low cholesterol foods are low-fat yogurt and skim milk. Avoid eating fried foods, since they are very unhealthy. Boil or bake low cholesterol foods and eat plenty of vegetable soups.
Home-cooked meals should be preferred over restaurant foods. However, if you don’t have time to cook for yourself regularly, there are many low cholesterol food products available in market. Also, it is equally important to understand that processed, low cholesterol foods available in convenience-stores may actually contain high quantities of saturated fat and aren’t a healthy option. Although you may eat these food products every now and then, your diet should be mainly on healthy, cholesterol free or low cholesterol foods.
Is it possible to lower LDL cholesterol without decreasing HDL cholesterol?
But it’s not as basic as consuming a lesser amount of fat, which has a tendency to reduce both LDL cholesterol, the unhealthy type of cholesterol that leads to heart disease, and HDL cholesterol, the good variety.
Because the proportion of LDL to HDL is a significantly much better way of predicting coronary heart disease risk compared to either alone, if they both drop — or increase — your risk may possibly not change significantly. Changing the kind of fat in your current diet from saturated and trans fat to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat may have simply the impact you are hoping for.
Avocados, olives, seeds, nuts, olive and canola oil are very good sources of healthy fats which increase HDL cholesterol while decreasing LDL cholesterol. Flaxseeds, walnuts and fatty varieties of fish can supply omega-3 fatty acids, that help boost HDL cholesterol. Exercising will likewise help improve HDL cholesterol levels. So will losing excess weight and consuming less sugars and refined starches such as white bread.
Lastly, soluble fiber in beans, barley, oats, lentils, and fresh fruits can help lower LDL cholesterol, while antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as in tea, red wine, and dark chocolate, help raise HDL cholesterol.
Put this all together, and you are basically looking at the Mediterranean diet, a strategy to eating that in research has proven to be an exceptional formula for bringing down LDL cholesterol, boosting HDL cholesterol, and decreasing cardiovascular disease risk. Because Mediterranean countries understand a thing or two with regards to wonderful cuisine, for many of us this is a chance to indulge in food we enjoy — and that loves us back in return.
If diet does not get the job done, you can look at prescription medicines like statins or ezetimibe, which can be especially developed to boost the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol.
Modern diets are full of fat and calories. Popular foods that people love often contribute to their ill health. As a result of today’s diets, many people today have high levels of cholesterol. When they want to know how to lower cholesterol, their doctors may recommend several options. People may find that lowering their cholesterol levels is not difficult.
Most doctors first advise that patients reduce the amount of fat and calories they take in each day. While fatty foods tend to be flavorful, they also have ill effects on people’s bodies. As such, doctors may urge patients to eat foods that are low fat and low calorie.
People may also be encouraged to add certain elements to their diets. Many individuals do not eat enough leafy green vegetables. These vegetables are known to have natural anti-oxidant properties that help people’s hearts and blood flow. Thus, physicians might recommend that individuals eat more kale, broccoli, spinach, and other vegetables.
Many physicians also recommend to people who diet to drink more water. Water can assist in flushing fatty buildup from people’s bodies. Some individuals fail to drink enough water. Thus, their primary care providers might urge these patients to take in more water each day.
Another step people might take would be to add more exercise to their daily routines. Many health experts report that exercise can be a good way to reduce detrimental elements from their bodies, particularly cholesterol. Exercise also helps dieters maintain healthy weights and body sizes. A person at risk for heart attack and stroke might exercise more.
Someone who wants to know how to lower cholesterol might consider several medical and dietary suggestions. These steps can help this individual avoid heart attacks and strokes. These suggestions could include eating more green vegetables to exercising more. Avoiding high calorie and fatty foods that are popular in today’s diets also can be helpful.
Over the years there has been a lot of confusion about cholesterol levels in the body. An answer to the question on how low is too low cholesterol level is one that baffles many. This explains why there has been much less agreement on how to deal with or respond to low levels of the cholesterol in the body.
It is worth noting that cholesterol levels generally lie between 140 and 200 milligrams per deciliter in adults. Figures below the range generally indicate that the cholesterol levels are lower than normal. This could have a negative effect on some parts of the body such as the brain, digestive system and the liver.
In fact, cholesterol has a huge role to play in the brain. This implies that when cholesterol levels are very low, brain function is likely to be affected by limiting the action of serotonin. This is a chemical messenger that is responsible for transmitting signals between brain cells. A common reason why it is common with people who have depression or anxiety.
Research has also established that having very low cholesterol levels for extensive periods of time could increase the odds of a hemorrhagic stroke. This is characterized by ruptured blood vessels that bleed into the brain. It mainly occurs because blood with low levels of cholesterol does not easily clot.
A general observation has been that low levels could cause harm while at the same time it could be caused by an existing disease. This is mostly the case in other health conditions linked with extremely low cholesterol levels. Alcoholism and cancer are also known to be a cause of the condition.
Given the points mentioned above, it is quite clear how low is too low cholesterol. In order to be on the safe side, you need to exercise regularly and have a healthy diet. After all, cholesterol is an essential component of each and every cell in the body.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is found in all of the cells of the body. Our body needs some cholesterol to function and makes all the cholesterol it needs to keep you healthy. Cholesterol is also present in some of the foods we eat. It is used to make Vitamin D, hormones, and substances that help food digestion.
What is HDL and LDL Cholesterol?
Our blood is a water-based, but cholesterol is an oily substance. As a result, the two do not mix well. So, for cholesterol to travel in the bloodstream, it is carried in packets called lipoproteins. These packets are made of fat (lipo) inside. and proteins on the outer layer. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout our body, High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL).
o LDL Cholesterol (the “Bad” Cholesterol)
High levels of LDL Cholesterol leads to an accumulation of cholesterol in our arteries, this is “bad” as it clogs them, giving a greater chance of heart disease.
o HDL Cholesterol (the “Good” Cholesterol)
This carries cholesterol from other parts of our body back to our liver. The liver then removes the cholesterol from our body. The higher your HDL cholesterol level, the lower your chances of getting heart disease.
Cholesterol Myths and Facts
1 . The only effective way to lower cholesterol is with drugs.
Fact: These drugs do not improve heart mortality or total mortality as the effect is only to lower cholesterol. In fact these drugs may be dangerous to our health and can shorten your life.
2 . High blood cholesterol causes atherosclerosis
Fact: Many studies have shown that people with high blood cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people whose cholesterol is low.
3. Our body produces three to four times more cholesterol than we eat.
Fact: The production of cholesterol increases when you eat little cholesterol and decreases when you eat much. This explains why the “prudent” diet cannot lower cholesterol more than on average by a few per cent.
4. The Statins prevent heart disease by lowering Cholesterol.
Fact: These drugs do help prevent cardio-vascular disease, but this is due to other mechanisms than cholesterol-lowering. Unfortunately, they also stimulate cancer in rodents, disturb the functions of the muscles, the brain and the heart. Additionally, pregnant women taking Statins may give birth to children with malformations.
5. Cholesterol is a deadly poison.
Fact: Cholesterol is a substance vital to the cells of all mammals. All cholesterol is not bad, but mental stress, physical activity and change of body weight may influence the level of blood cholesterol. High cholesterol is not dangerous by itself, but may reflect an unhealthy condition, or it may be totally innocent.