High cholesterol and the side effects of that is the most important question globally. Almost 50% of the adult population has high cholesterol. And 2.6 million deaths occur due to heart disease which is implicated by raised cholesterol.
What is cholesterol?
We heard a lot about it and you must know how risky it is, but what exactly does cholesterol mean?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance made by the liver. It is used for the production of protein and vitamins and circulates all over the body through blood. Which is enough for your body.
But when you consume food that has more saturated and trans saturated fats, that encourages the liver for more production of cholesterol, which can be unhealthy.
Type of cholesterol
Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol to the cells. One is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and the other is high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
LDL – It is also known as “Bad” cholesterol. As it builds up fat in arteries and makes them narrow. Which may reduce blood flow to organs and lead to heart attack and stroke.
HDL – It is also known as “Good” or Healthy cholesterol. As it reduces the risk of heart diseases.
It takes LDL back to the liver and LDL breaks down further and passes from the body. But only ¼ of LDL is carried away by HDL.
Triglyceride – It is a common fact in the body. Which stores energy from your diet. High triglycerides with High LDL and low HDL can increase the risk of heart attack and strokes.
Risk after increasing cholesterol
Due to a high level of cholesterol, you may suffer from different arterial diseases.
Hypertension – As arteries get blocked due to the fat deposition, blood level to the heart reduces and it starts pumping rapidly. Which results in increased blood pressure.
Coronary Heart Disease – When your cholesterol level is up, there is the highest chance of you getting heart disease. Cholesterol deposition on the wall of the arteries gradually turns into atherosclerosis.
This may result in chest pain, as the heart is not getting enough blood supply. And after blocking blood vessels completely, heart muscles start dying.
Stroke – Blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to the brain become blocked, stroke occurs.
A stroke occurs when the blood supply of the brain reduces. And the part of the brain which didn’t get oxygen and nutrients starts dying.
Peripheral arterial disease – Along with the heart and brain, there are more chances to get arterial disease in the lower limbs as well as kidneys.
The blockage of arteries reduces blood flow to the legs and feet and results in peripheral arterial disease.
Type 2 diabetes – Diabetes and high cholesterol are linked with each other. A person with a controlled sugar level also causes high triglycerides, high LDL, and low HDL, which may result in atherosclerosis.
Food to reduce cholesterol
High fiber food – A food that contains soluble fiber helps to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Soluble fiber reduces absorption on LDL.
5-10 mg fiber daily helps you to reduce LDL. Cereals, oatmeal, corn, and bananas are rich sources of fiber.
Omega 3 fatty acid – Omega 3 fatty acid triglycerides also prevent abnormal heartbeats.
Remember, avoid meat as it boosts the LDL level. Eating fish two or three times a week lowers LDL.
Nuts – Nuts help to reduce LDL and triglycerides. It contains heart-healthy fats. So that includes daily different nuts in your diet.
But ensure that you consume nuts with skin on, avoid salted and roasted nuts.
Olive – Olive is a rich source of monosaturated fatty acids. This increases HDL and lowers LDL. Also olive has polyphenols that help to reduce inflammation.
Olive reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Avocados – Avocados are rich in monosaturated fats and fiber. They also have Oleic acid which helps to reduce LDL. Plant sterols in avocados increase HDL.
- Maintaining cholesterol levels is the most important thing for a healthy heart.
- What you eat reflects your body.
- Along with healthy food, exercise is most important for a healthy heart.
- Also, excess stress can lead to heart diseases.
- Try to maintain your weight, as obesity can lead to different health problems.
- If you suffer from chest pain, breathlessness consult your physician.
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