Most people know that fat is bad for them, but most people are often confused about the difference between cholesterolSugarcane Benefits and fat. The fat issue is actually the most well-defined topic in nutrition. In this article, we’ll be briefly discussing what you need to know about cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy fatty substance found in all cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. 

Certain types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to do important jobs like making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels in the blood through proteins called lipoproteins.

Types of lipoproteins

  • Low-density lipoproteins(LDL)

Low-density lipoprotein(LDL) transports cholesterol into tissues. This is the “bad” type of cholesterol because high LDL levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.

  • High-density lipoproteins(HDL)

High-density lipoprotein(HDL) or “good” cholesterol brings cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then excretes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

How to identify high cholesterol

High cholesterol usually has no signs or symptoms. You may not know your cholesterol levels are unhealthy until it’s too late. Sometimes, some people develop yellow growths on their skin called “xanthomas”, which are cholesterol-rich deposits. People with xanthomas may have high cholesterol levels.

How to test your cholesterol

Our risk of heart disease can be assessed with a blood cholesterol test. On this test, your total cholesterol reading should be close to the sum of your LDL, HDL, and other lipoproteins. If your total cholesterol is 3.5 mg or less per 1 mg of HDL, then your cholesterol ratio is ideal. Always discuss the best way to manage cholesterol with your healthcare provider.

Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level

  • Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fat. Choose foods that are naturally rich in fiber and unsaturated fats
  • Eating foods high in saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. Cut down on saturated fat, and your blood cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease go down. Your risk of developing cancer is also reduced.
  • Be active every day. Medical experts recommend that adults get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels hardens your arteries and greatly increases your risk of heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • If lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to lower cholesterol, you may also need medication. Several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs are available, including statins. If you are taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, you should still continue to make lifestyle changes.
  • Know your family history. If your parent or other immediate family member has high cholesterol, you should probably get tested more frequently.

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