What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is produced in the liver and is used to help make bile. Bile is a liquid that helps with digestion, and cholesterol helps to move it out of the body. Cholesterol is also found in certain foods, such as eggs, beef, chicken and fish etc.
Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol can be found in two forms:
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) – This form of cholesterol carries fat back through the bloodstream to be digested by cells. When your HDL levels are high, you have good cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) – This form of cholesterol carries excess fat from the cells back through the bloodstream to be excreted from your body. When your LDL levels are high, it means that you have bad cholesterol.
Manage Healthy Weight
Controlling weight is the most critical factor in lowering cholesterol.
A person's weight can affect their cholesterol levels. For example, a person who has a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. A person who is obese is at a higher risk for developing heart disease and diabetes.
Obese people also have lower HDL cholesterol levels than those who are not obese and have higher LDL cholesterol levels. This indicates that they have more plaque in their arteries than usual and that they are more likely to get heart disease or other diseases related to high blood pressure, such as stroke or kidney failure.
Eat Balanced Diet
The best way to maintain healthy cholesterol is by eating a balanced diet. A diet high in fibre, low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol, and rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other plant foods can help lower your cholesterol levels. Eating a healthy diet may also reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
You can improve your chances of getting enough nutrients from the food by eating smaller portions of more nutrient-dense foods.
Limit Sugar Intake
It is important that you avoid excess sugar as this will increase your blood glucose level which in turn increases insulin resistance and raises your blood glucose level even further.
This leads to higher triglycerides and lower HDL cholesterol levels which are associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors like heart disease or stroke.
The best way to maintain healthy cholesterol is to exercise regularly, which may reduce your overall cholesterol levels.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio activity (such as brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity cardio activity every week for a healthy heart. You should also engage in muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days each week.
Aerobic exercise burns calories boost your metabolism and lower your blood pressure. It also helps build muscle mass and increase bone density, which can help prevent osteoporosis (brittle bones).
Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, and it also increases your risk of developing high cholesterol. Smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day greatly increases your risk of dying from cancer or heart disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Smoking can cause you to crave sweets and salt, which are both high in sodium and can increase blood pressure and raise blood cholesterol levels.
People who already have plaque are less likely to develop heart disease if they eat a diet that prevents the formation of additional plaque. It reduces high cholesterol levels, and lowers blood pressure and increases the good cholesterol in the body.
Cholesterol is a type of fatty substance serving as insulation in the walls of our blood vessels, as well as in some other membranes such as nerves and the outer layer of skin. There are two types of cholesterol - HDL and LDL.
Managing a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, limiting sugar intake and avoiding smoking are some ways for having healthy cholesterol levels.