What is cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that's found in the fats in your blood. Your body needs a healthy amount of cholesterol in order to continue building healthy cells. Cholesterol is in many ways essential to life. It can be found in every cell in your body and helps maintain cell structure and can aid in the production of vital chemicals such as sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, adrenaline and vitamin D. The liver is the main production center for cholesterol. While your body often produces all of the cholesterol it needs the body can also get cholesterol from cooked meats. Fruits and vegetables do not contain cholesterol

Why is High Cholesterol Bad?

High cholesterol is considered a major factor in contracting heart disease. When you have high cholesterol fatty deposits begin to build up in your blood vessels. Over time these deposits begin to build at an exponential rate as there is more surface area for fat to attach itself to. Eventually these deposits can grow to a size that will inhibit normal blood flow in the body. Because your blood flow is impeded, it can take a longer time for oxygen to make it to vital areas of your body such as you heart and brain which can result in a heart attack or a stroke. High cholesterol can be inherited, but through a proper cholesterol lowering diet containing both low cholesterol foods and foods that lower cholesterol, the symptoms of the condition can be effectively averted

Good Vs. Bad Cholesterol

There are two different kinds of cholesterol found in the body. High density lipoprotein (HDL) is also known as 'good' cholesterol due to it apparent link to lowering the risk of heart disease. This is because HDL has a low tendency to build up on the walls of your blood vessels. HDL also carries fats away from your blood stream and back into your liver where it is them passed from your body, thus slowing build-up. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is the other kind of cholesterol and is known as 'bad' cholesterol. Together with other substances that naturally occur in the body, it can lead up to fatty deposits on the side of blood vessels that lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Am I at Risk for High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol has no symptoms and can only be detected through a blood test. It is for this reason that knowing the common risk factors of high cholesterol is important for identifying high cholesterol in your body. If you find that this list of risks applies to you than it is highly recommended that you seek a test from your physician as soon as you can. Risk factors include:

  • Smoking. Cigarette smoking has the potential to damage the walls of your blood vessels, making them no longer smooth and therefore highly susceptible to fatty build ups of cholesterol. Smoking can also lower your level of 'good' cholesterol.
  • Obesity. Having a high bady fat index puts you at great risk for high cholesterol. This is especially true if a high amount of fat seems to be stored in the middle part of the body.
  • Lack of exercise. Having a good exercise routine can help your levels of HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering you LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
  • High blood pressure. Increased pressure on your artery walls can cause severe damage and enable fatty deposits to easily build up.
  • Diabetes. High blood sugar contributes to higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels. Higher levels of blood sugar can also damage your arteries.
  • Genetics. While high cholesterol is not a genetic disease, some people are just more susceptible to cholesterol problems than others. Poor eating habits can also be a behavior inherited in families.

How to Reduce Cholesterol

,p>There is a great deal of things you can do to lower your cholesterol that don't involve medication. Choosing to eat foods that lower cholesterol and eating a proper low cholesterol diet can be a great weapon in the battle against high cholesterol. Following the free low cholesterol diets given by this site can help you lower your cholesterol today!

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